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Claim of self-defense denied

Yampa man to stand trial for attempted murder

— A 34-year-old Yampa man’s claim he legally shot a man in his home last winter in self-defense was denied by a 14th Judicial District judge.

Because of Judge Richard P. Doucette’s ruling, Warren Dean Hillbolt III will stand trial in August on charges of attempted murder and violent crime with the use of a deadly weapon.

Hillbolt’s lawyer, Ron Smith, failed to prove Monday to Doucette his client is immune from prosecution under Colorado’s “Make My Day Law.”

Smith argued his client’s shooting of 24-year-old Jared Williams was done so in accordance with the law that allows residents to protect themselves and their home from an intruder.

Smith argued Hillbolt shot Williams in the shoulder in self-defense and because Williams was an intruder.

Assistant District Attorney David Waite countered Williams was not an intruder when he entered Hillbolt’s trailer the evening of Dec. 2.

After Williams testified by telephone, Doucette agreed with Waite.

According to Doucette’s ruling, “Williams was not an intruder under the state statute and there was no reasonable belief that he would commit a crime.”

Doucette ruled that Smith was unable to prove Williams’ entrance into the home “was an uninvited entry.”

Prior to the shooting, Hillbolt, Williams and another man had been drinking at a Steamboat Springs restaurant. The men worked together.

According to a court file, the men decided to drive from Steamboat Springs to Hillbolt’s Yampa trailer.

On the drive to Yampa, Hillbolt allegedly told Williams he was going to shoot him.

During the evening, an intoxicated Williams and Hillbolt had been involved in a dispute in which Smith describes his client being “assaulted on more than one occasion.”

Smith argued his client was justified in shooting Williams in the right shoulder with a 9 mm semiautomatic assault rifle because Williams entered the trailer to assault his client

once more.