Court of Appeals rules in case involving man possibly linked to teen’s disappearance 35 years ago
April 19, 2017
Steamboat Springs — The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by a local judge that there was not sufficient evidence to charge a man with kidnapping in connection with an incident in the late 1970s.
Monty Dean Doolin was brought back to Routt County from Alaska in June 2015 after a grand jury indicted him of first-degree kidnapping, a Class 1 felony.
The grand jury was investigating Doolin's suspected role in the disappearance of Marie Blee 35 years ago. She has never been found.
The grand jury indictment was related to a different female teenager.
Doolin was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a female teenager who rode with him in his vehicle from Elk Head Reservoir toward the town of Hayden in either the summer of 1978 or 1979.
The grand jury did not return any other indictments.
“The statute of limitations had barred prosecution for any offenses in this case except kidnapping, which is one of the few offenses that has no time limit,” District Attorney Brett Barkey said in an email.
Doolin posted bond and was represented by the Public Defender's Office. His attorney requested that District Court Judge Shelley Hill dismiss the indictment because of a lack of probable cause.
Hill considered the legal definition of first-degree kidnapping when she made her ruling.
In November 2015, Hill ruled Doolin did not have the intent to “force the victim or any other person to make any concession or give up anything of value in order to secure a release of a person.”
The District Attorney's Office appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals affirmed Hill's ruling April 6.
They concluded the District Attorney's Office "did not present evidence of an essential element of first degree kidnapping; namely, that Doolin 'intended to force [the victim] to make a concession to secure her release.'"
"Although I respectfully disagree with both Judge Hill and the Court of Appeals on this very technical legal issue, I have concluded that my office will not pursue an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court," Barkey said. "We recognized it would be challenging to try to bring justice for a victim of a vicious sexual assault and kidnapping nearly 40 years after it happened. I am disappointed only for our victim."
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