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| Chapter 12 Stories Of Violent Women And Abused Men In Colorado |
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Loveland story isn't
Love and marriage in the new millennium
Enter the DV and divorce industry
Finding the right lawyer
She files for divorce
The ongoing vendetta
Colorado Springs woman arrested after stabbing man
Lakewood mother accused of setting fire to home while husband and children asleep inside
Arson suspect may have fled state
Details emerge at Mrs. Jewett's trial
Golden woman arrested after stabbing husband
City council woman arraigned on assault charges after striking man at an Aurora school
Wife becomes enraged after opening letter from IRS and shoots husband in Coal Creek Canyon near Golden
Accuser's history has defense claiming bias in Georgetown
Domestic violence case against Denver Bronco dropped
Denver cop's firing over unfounded abuse claim reversed
Past abuse allegations but none proven
Fort Collins woman arrested for domestic violence after drinking
Boulder County woman arrested after shooting her husband
Camper stabbed by girlfriend in Summit County
Woman stabs man in Loveland, drives him to hospital, then robs him
Colorado Springs man stabbed twice, he is arrested for domestic violence
They started dating in high school and married on September 3, 2000. A child soon followed and another a couple of years later. As with most young couples with children, times were tough although they managed to purchase a house.
She was in charge of family finances, but didn't do well at it. In 2005 they were hit with foreclosure on their home. After 5 years of marriage they separated in June 2005 at her request, supposedly because she felt bad about the foreclosure. She was then 24 and Jason was 27.
She complained that she had never been on her own, she needed some time, and wanted to force herself to learn to mange money. She assured Jason it was a temporary situation and he reluctantly agreed, all the while asking that they go to marriage counseling. She refused.
But there was more to the story. She had gone back to school in September 2003 and Jason was the parent taking care of the children from the time he picked them up from daycare until they went to bed. Then she decided nightlife was more exciting than her family. It started as just once a week, but soon grew into every night in the local bars while, after Jason got the kids to bed, he'd lie awake waiting for her to come home drunk around 3 AM. He'd try to talk to her about the problem, to no avail, and then he'd have to get up at 5:30 AM to go to work. That went on from December 2004 until their separation in June 2005. All the while their debts were mounting.
Even through this Jason never gave up on his children or family. He found a place to live, took care of the house foreclosure, and began to gain control over his life again. Her response was to treat him worse and worse with every new day.
Jason was naturally confused about what was going on but was trying hard to make things work for the sake of his family. After their separation he was paying for half the children's daycare and lent her money for the damage deposit on her apartment, and other things she needed. She wanted nothing to do with him unless she needed money. Needless to say, the relationship was getting worse, not better, and they both knew it.
On August 21, 2005, after being separated for 2 months, Jason picked up their two boys (then 2 and 5) with the intent of going to Horsetooth Reservoir with his brother for a day of Sunday boating. However, the weather was windy and his brother decided not to get the boat out. Instead, they all went to Jason's mother's house to swim in her pool.
Jason took the kids back to their mother at 7:30 PM but when she found out they had gone swimming instead of boating she became irrationally angry. She insisted Jason should have called her and threatened to never let him see the kids again. He apologized for not calling but hadn't thought that it was a big deal that they went to his mother's home and not to the lake. Certainly the kids were safer playing in the pool with dad than in a small boat on a lake on a blustery day.
After she had vented her spleen, Jason tried to give her a hug as he was leaving, as he customarily did. She got angry again and kicked him out. He went home, upset and sad as he had countless times before, but not thinking anything more of it.
Jason had the kids again the next day and took them back to their mother around 9 PM without further incident.
Then he had them again on Wednesday, August 24, 2005. This time when he took them back to their mother at 7:30 PM the Loveland police were waiting for him. They informed him that his wife had filed a domestic violence charge against me claiming he had grabbed her and tried to sexually assault her on Sunday when he'd brought the children home. 1 Note that the police were not responding to an incident in progress but he was arrested without a warrant, underwent a full body-cavity search, and spent 26 hours in the Larimer County Detention Center before being released on a personal-recognizance bond with the required mandatory restraining order that stated he could not see his kids.
In the two months prior to his arrest, Jason had been hospitalized for depression, tried to convince wife to go to marriage counseling, which she refused to do despite her insistence she didn't want a divorce, let her move out because she said she needed some time to sort things out and learn to manage finances on her own. And now, because of the domestic violence charge, Jason lost his job. Neither one had yet filed for divorce.
Jason later learned, through conversations and emails that friends and his brother's fiancé shared with him, that his wife had been planning this for several months. When they separated she moved into an apartment for which she had been on a wait list for 6 months. She also took every single piece of furniture and possession that they had worked for throughout the marriage.
She left him with the credit card bills and the delinquent mortgage.
1. Case 2005M201226 Domestic Violence. Statute 18-3-204 Assault 3 Knowingly/Recklessly causing injury. Class: Misdemeanor 1. Event date: 8/21/2005. Arrest date: 8/24/2005. Case Close date: 6/15/2006.
On September 1, 2005, Jason met with a highly-recommended domestic violence lawyer in Loveland. 2 This attorney advised Jason from the beginning not to take his case to trial. He claimed that Loveland was such a conservative town that the majority of domestic violence cases that went before a jury resulted in a conviction simply because of the nature of the crime. Her word against his was nearly all it took in most cases. Because the prosecutor claimed there were pictures of bruises, Jason was told he had little to no chance of winning even before he saw the “evidence.” He also told Jason that if he was convicted it would be on his record permanently. But this incompetent shyster didn't mention that a plea bargain is a conviction and would remain on Jason's record permanently as well. Nor was Jason told that a guilty plea would prevent him from being the custodial parent of his sons.
It took this attorney nearly 7 months after requesting copies of the pictures prosecutors claimed showed bruises on his wife to finally obtain them. In the interim Jason still hadn't been arraigned, and thus his right to a speedy trial was circumvented. Once they did receive the pictures, no bruises were visible except one very light mark on her forearm. Of course there are any number of explanations as to why someone might have a mark on their arm and the pictures were apparently not taken until 3 days after she claimed she was assaulted. Any reasonably competent criminal defense attorney should have been able to discredit such “evidence.”
Despite the weakness of the evidence against him, the attorney told Jason again that his best option was to plead guilty and plea bargain for a deferred sentence. Jason was told that if he had no further incidents the DV charge would be dropped and, for a fee, his record could be sealed. This attorney's misrepresentation is typical of unscrupulous attorneys who take clients retainers and then sell them down the river with a plea bargain.
Lacking the zealous representation of a competent attorney, and without prior knowledge or experience with the legal system, Jason then took the plea bargain.
2. At the time the EJF had this attorney on our list of recommended attorneys as well. However, any attorney who proposes up front that their client take a plea bargain in a DV case is automatically removed. Unfortunately, it is usually only through cases like Jason's that we learn about how an attorney actually handles DV cases as compared to what they claim to do.
Any veteran of the DV and divorce industry knows the next step in the game is for the wife to file for divorce now that she has custody of the kids and a restraining order. Following the script, Jason was served divorce papers on September 28, 2005, demanding full custody of their two boys.
About 3 weeks after filing the DV charge, she had her father give Jason a letter telling him the only way he could see the kids was if he paid her for some of her expenses and met several other demands. She dictated how and when his time with the kids was to be spent. Withholding parenting time for money is against Colorado state law and even the female judge called the letter a ransom note. But no penalties attached to her unlawful demands.
The divorce was naturally a bitter one and legal fees for a divorce attorney alone were $4,000. The DV lawyer cost an additional $1,000 to do nothing but destroy Jason's life. A lot of money for someone who had next to nothing and a mountain of debt to start with.
With a DV charges, and later conviction, the family court was against Jason from the outset. No matter how much Jason wanted to be a father for his boys, he became simply a paycheck.
Both during the temporary orders hearing on November 15, 2005, and the final orders hearing on February 22, 2006, she was caught lying, but nothing was done. Ultimately, because she had controlled the parenting time for so long, and with a restraining and no contact order in place so he could not contact her or see his boys unless she allowed it, she was given full custody. The boys now can only see their father four times a month, every other weekend and on alternating weeks every other Monday.
However, because of hard evidence that his wife was incapable of managing her finances, which had resulted in the boys jumping from one daycare to another, child support payments are made directly to daycare providers instead of to her. So neither parent wins, the kids lose, and the DV and divorce industry grows richer.
Since Jason's domestic violence charge, three additional formal complaints have been made that demonstrate how Jason's ex-wife tries to use the legal system to secure control over situations she wants changed, and to ensure Jason and his family have minimal contact with his boys.
Two weeks after the temporary orders hearing, on November 30, 2005, Jason's wife called the Larimer County sheriff, case #05-771, on Jason's father, with whom Jason is living, to investigate an unsafe house. She claimed the drinking water was brown, the house was unclean, there were no beds for the children to sleep on and that they were being made to sleep on the floor, etc. Jason was not home the day the sheriff came, and Jason's dad wisely refused to let the sheriff inspect the house without a warrant.
Following that complaint, on December 27, 2005, social services caseworker Mykel Flory came to Jason's father's house to investigate a report of the house being unsafe. This time Jason was home and let her in. In Jason's words the social worker was stunned after inspecting the house and finding nothing. She asked why Jason thought someone would do that and he explained the divorce situation. Ms. Flory's comment was that she would advise the caller about the difference between a legitimate concern and a false report.
On March 9, 2006, Jason's now ex-wife again filed a complaint with the Loveland Police Department, incident # 06-13008, against Daniel Peterson (Jason's stepfather) for making threats against her when she came to pick up the boys from his mother and stepfather's house (Jason's parents and Jason's former in-laws provide drop off and pick up locations for the boys).
Jason's divorce lawyer also received a call from his wife's attorney saying that Daniel threatened her and she “feared for her life.”
Daniel's son was at home and heard the conversation. No threat was ever made. What did happen was Daniel asked her if she was getting married because one of the little boys had been very upset that night and told Jason he got in trouble for having a black crayon in his pocket that ruined her wedding dress that she had washed the night before. Daniel offered advice and expressed concern about what she said around the boys to avoid upsetting them. The conversation was friendly and at its end, she and Daniel agreed if there was anything else like this that ever came up to call each other or exchange emails. The following night Daniel was taken completely off guard by the phone call from the police.
Then in late July of 2006 she filed another false report with the Loveland Police Department that Jason didn't have car seats in his jeep when he had the boys. Jason did notice police cars being around the drop off point for the next few weeks, wasting resources better used elsewhere for public safety.
After completing domestic violence treatment, obtaining unsupervised probation status, and numerous emails back and forth between Jason and his ex-wife regarding issues about their boys, Jason told his ex-wife he planned on attending the boys' yearly doctor exams on March 16, 2007. Jason had only ever missed one of his boys doctor appointments prior to separating.
When his ex-wife realized the restraining order/no contact order was no longer in effect, she immediately filed another temporary restraining order based solely on the previous (almost 2 year old) DV charge. A hearing on her request to impose a permanent restraining order on Jason was held Wednesday, March 28, 2007. Her request was denied and the temporary order was lifted.
However, there is absolutely no reason she can't go “judge shopping” and find one more sympathetic to her fears that the boy's father might actually want to be informed about their medical condition. Or she can make up any other excuse with the help of a publicly-funded “victim advocate” or shelter worker since there are no penalties for making false allegations of abuse and subornation of perjury is not a crime in Colorado.
Such games can, and do go on for years while the children's lives are destroyed and the DV and divorce industry grow rich from the public purse.
Colorado Springs Gazette
April 7, 2007 A 26-year-old Colorado Springs woman was arrested Friday on suspicion of attempted murder in the stabbing of a man found naked and bound last weekend near Pueblo Reservoir.
Colorado Springs police Sgt. Sal Fiorillo said Melissa Butierres was arrested in the 2400 block of Broadway Avenue in Colorado Springs.
Another suspect, Donovan Romero, 18, of Colorado Springs, had not been located Friday. Fiorillo said other arrests are expected.
Anthony Green, 20, was found about noon Sunday in bushes off Swallows Road in Pueblo West. Police think he may have been stabbed in Colorado Springs, then dumped in Pueblo West.
Sgt. Fiorillo said Green remains in critical condition in a Pueblo hospital.
Green's car, a 1995 black Pontiac, was spotted Monday afternoon in Colorado Springs. It was recovered Tuesday in Grand Junction after it was crashed and two people were seen fleeing from the vehicle.
Sgt. Fiorillo said investigators have not determined why Green was stabbed and left by the side of the road.
Neither Ms. Butierres nor Romero has been convicted of any felony in Colorado, according to court records.
April 13, 2007 According to the Denver Post (p. 2B) police are looking for a woman who West Metro Fire investigators believe intentionally set fire to her family's townhouse early Wednesday and then fled.
A warrant charging Nancy Jean Jewett, 47, with four counts of attempted murder was issued. She is described as 5-foot-7 and 190 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
The family's townhouse, at 408 S. Balsam St., suffered moderate damage when the fire broke out shortly after 2 AM on April 10, 2007.
Jewett's husband and two children, aged 19 and 24, and the 24-year-old's boyfriend were in the residence and were able to escape, Davis said.
Abstracted from article by Julie Poppen, Rocky Mountain News
April 14, 2007 Police said they believe Mrs. Nancy Jewett, suspected of setting fire to her townhome while her family slept inside, may have fled Colorado.
Mrs. Jewett's 22-year-old daughter was treated for a burn on her forearm and her 19-year- old son for smoke inhalation after the fire on Wednesday.
Court records indicate Mrs. Jewett pled guilty to careless driving resulting in injury January 17 th and was sentenced to 30 days in jail the same day. However, court records show the sentence was suspended. She also was sentenced to 50 hours of community service in connection with the crash in Gilpin County.
According to a restitution affidavit, Jewett ran into the rear of a car driven by Glenn Charette, of Colorado Springs, at between 40 and 45 mph. The vehicle driven by Charette was totaled, and Charette reported injuries to his neck and leg.
In August 2001, Mrs. Jewett was sentenced to two years' probation and 50 hours of community service after pleading guilty to theft and check-forging charges out of Lakewood.
In June 2003, she and her husband filed for bankruptcy but the case was dropped, according to court records.
Lakewood police spokesman Steve Davis said Friday there have been no sightings of Mrs. Jewett since she apparently left home in a green 1998 Buick Century with Colorado license plate 641-KNG.
The Wednesday, April 18 th edition of the Denver Post (p. 2B) reported Nancy Jewett was arrested in the parking lot of a Blackhawk casino on Monday. The warrant for her arrest lists four counts of attempted murder.
Abstracted from story by Howard Pankratz in March 11, 2008, Denver Post
On March 11, 2008, Mrs. Jewett was sentenced to 48-year prison sentence from a judge who said she should never again be free.
“I believe this was a well thought out, planned-in-advance arson,” said Jefferson County District Judge Randall Arp as he addressed Nancy Jean Jewett.
“No embarrassment over gambling away your family's future can come close to explaining why or justify setting five fires,” said Arp. “The only intent could be the death of family members. I intend this to be a life sentence.”
With that, Arp imposed a total of 48 years two sentences of 24 years on two counts of attempted first-degree murder stemming from the April 10, 2007, fire at the family home in the 400 block of South Balsam Street.
Judge Arp also sentenced Nancy Jewett to terms of 18 and 12 months for forgery and theft convictions related to a 2000 incident. At the time, Jewett was working at a bank and stole $12,500 from two savings accounts, including one from an 86-year-old woman.
The judge said Jewett will have to serve 75 percent of the sentence before she becomes parole eligible, by which time the 48-year-old Jewett will be more than 80 years old.
Prosecutor Nancy Hooper told Arp that the fires were strategically placed so Jewett's husband, George; daughter, Jessica; son, Richard; and Manual Sandoval, Jessica's boyfriend, would die.
Two were set in the master bedroom where George Jewett was sleeping; another fire was set in the bedroom-office next to Jessica Jewett's bedroom, where Jessica and Manual slept; a fourth was set in the living room; and the fifth was set in the basement across from the room where Richard Jewett slept.
Cobea Becker, Jewett's lawyer, said that Jewett was a gambling addict who developed various personality disorders because of being sexually assaulted at age 12 by a distant relative.
“She kept things to herself, not sharing her feelings,” said Becker. “She presents herself as a desperate person. The desperation she feels is not an excuse for the actions she took.”
Those actions, said Becker, included stealing from her daughter, husband and son. Nancy Jewett kept saying to herself like all gambling addicts that if she played just one more time, she'd hit the jackpot and solve all the family's financial woes, said Becker.
Throughout the lengthy hearing, there was testimony that Nancy Jewett, who used a number of aliases, was in charge of the family's finances.
The house was about to be foreclosed on because of Nancy Jewett's gambling addiction, the family's savings were gone and Nancy Jewett had maxed out credit cards she had gotten in the names of other family members without their knowledge.
Prosecutor Hooper said Nancy Jewett's bankrupting the family and then destroying the home and their personal belongings was a “huge tragedy.”
Having it done by your own mother and wife just compounded that tragedy, added Hooper.
The cold-bloodedness of Nancy Jewett was shown by the fact that she had packed her car with many of her own belongings, including photographs and documents, and after setting the fire calmly went to the car and drove off, said prosecutor Hooper.
She headed to Black Hawk, where she was arrested about week later, her purse full of coupons for meals at various Black Hawk casinos.
She told detectives in two confessions that she set the fires in an attempt to kill her family due to financial problems.
She said she had originally planned to kill her family by stabbing them and then setting the house on fire.
April 18, 2007 According to the Denver Post (p. 2B) 53-year-old Nancy Ruth Bautista was arrested on Sunday night after receiving a 911 call summoning them to the couple's home in the 5900 block of Dunraven Court, north of Golden.
Nancy Bautista, a registered nurse, stabbed her husband, Dr. Michael Bautista, 55, in the back on April 15 th with a large kitchen knife while he worked on his computer preparing a property list for their pending divorce. She then unplugged the residential phone line to prevent him from calling for help, according to Jefferson County sheriff's deputies. She also knocked a cell phone out of his hand and refused his repeated pleas to call for help. Instead, she asked her husband to lie on the floor with her as the blood drained out of his body, telling him “I want you to feel the pain that I feel.”
Michael, an administrator for Community College of Denver, told investigators that Nancy waited almost 90 minutes before reporting the stabbing to other family members, who in turn called authorities.
When emergency crews arrived, Dr. Bautista was slumped over the kitchen counter with the knife still buried in his back. Doctors say he lost about 20% of his blood before help finally arrived.
Mrs. Bautista was charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and domestic violence. She was released on bail and attempted suicide during her trial in July 2008. She had previously attempted suicide in May 2007 shortly after stabbing her husband.
Prosecutors said Nancy Bautista's fury over her husband's request for a divorce raged on even after she stabbed him in the back. On August 27, 2007 four months after the April 15 th stabbing she called police claiming that her husband had come to her apartment and stabbed her. The couple were estranged but not yet divorced at the time. She was charged with making a false report in connection with that incident.
Defense attorneys argued she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the attack and that her troubles could be traced to childhood abuse that left her with PTSD. Her attorney also claimed that Nancy Bautista stabbed her husband after he slammed her into a wall and threw her on the floor as the couple argued about his alleged extramarital affairs [good old abuse excuse].
On May 29, 2009, Nancy Ruth Bautista was sentenced to 19 years in prison for stabbing her husband in the back with a butcher's knife in April, 2007. A jury found her guilty of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and one count of committing a violent crime after stabbing her husband, Dr. Michael Bautista in the back with a 7-inch butcher knife. At no time did she show any remorse for committing this heinous crime.
Abstracted from article by Chris Barge, Rocky Mountain News
April 21, 2007 A city councilwoman reportedly has called the whole ordeal “stupid” but the police department she oversees thought otherwise.
And Friday, Arapahoe County prosecutors charged Molly Markert with third-degree assault, harassment and interference with school staff after she allegedly shoved her way into a meeting at her daughter's high school.
“The evidence supports the charges,” Arapahoe County Court spokeswoman Kathleen Walsh said.
Now Markert, who announced her intent to seek re-election this week, faces up to two years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine on the assault charge. She faces up to six months in jail and up to a $750 fine for each of the other two charges.
According to a police file released Friday, Markert and other parents were barred from a meeting at the Smoky Hill High School auditorium April 10 after they arrived a few minutes late.
Principal Jeannine Brown had called the mandatory meeting to share details about graduation with seniors and their parents.
In a March 22 letter to parents, Brown wrote, “Because of the importance of the information, those arriving late will not be admitted to the meeting,” and she instructed several teachers to enforce the rule.
When told that she and others would have to wait an hour to speak with the principal after the meeting, Markert allegedly raised her voice and asked the teachers, “Do you know who I am?”
According to a teacher standing in front of her, Markert then shoved his chest with her forearm and told him, “This is stupid.”
A second time, she “threw her forearm into my chest with enough force to move me sideways and said she was going in,” teacher Preston Davis wrote in an incident report.
Davis said the shove caused his little finger to get stuck in the push release bar of the door. After getting his finger checked by the school nurse, he told police he wanted to press charges.
The next day, he changed his mind.
In a “Letter of Intention” to police, he wrote that his decision not to press charges “was a family choice and in no way encouraged by any outside influence.”
But police investigated the case anyway and called Markert into the station for an interview April 17.
With her lawyer present, Markert said she had told the teachers, “I am Molly Markert, Aurora City Council.” She told police she realized she shouldn't have said that. But she denied making any physical contact with Davis, saying she “slipped” past him.
Markert declined to comment Friday. She is scheduled to appear in county court June 22.
May 8, 2007 Tamara Palumbo, 46, and her husband, Steve, were going through a divorce but living together in their Coal Creek Canyon home in May when she shot him with his .44-caliber Magnum.
Her temper flared after she opened a letter from the IRS. The letter said the agency was keeping a refund she was due in order to pay off a federal student loan that she had used to attend nursing school.
Palumbo began screaming at her husband and opened a second letter.
“Then she found a notification from an attorney that her husband had paid a retainer to coordinate their divorce. She wasn't unhappy about the divorce, but she was unhappy that he had money for a lawyer but wouldn't give it to her to pay off her loan,” Russell said.
Tamara then went downstairs in their Coal Creek Canyon home, found Steve Palumbo's gun, and fired several shots. When Steve Palumbo went downstairs to check on his wife, she shot him with the .44 Magnum and hit him in the arm, severing an artery.
Steve Palumbo made his way upstairs and tried to wrap up his arm with a towel and call 911. Tamara Palumbo followed and tried to shoot her husband again but the gun failed to discharge
Tamara Palumbo pulled the gun away but was knocked unconscious by her husband, who managed to contact police. Upon arrival, Jefferson County deputies found the Mr. Palumbo conscious and lying on the ground in the backyard. Mrs. Palumbo was found still unconscious on the kitchen floor.
The couple's two children, ages 8 and 6, were in the house at the time of the shooting.
Tamara Palumbo wasn't working at the time of the assault. She had earned a nursing degree but it was revoked after she was caught stealing medication from patients and a hospital.
In January 2008 a jury found Mrs. Palumbo guilty of attempted murder and first-degree assault.
According to the Denver Post (February 5, 2008, p. 2B) on February 4, 2008, Tamara Palumbo was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a First Judicial District Court in Golden.
“At sentencing Tamara Palumbo's drug and alcohol problems were cited as have a significant role in the problems in her life,” Pam Russell, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County district attorney's office said. “Because this is a crime of violence it is estimated that Tamara Palumbo will serve 75 percent of her sentence with five years parole.”
© 2007 by Steve Lipsher, The Denver Post
May 24, 2007 A woman who accused a Breckenridge man of savagely beating and raping her has a long criminal history but has served virtually no jail time, marking a double standard that shows bias by prosecutors, a defense attorney argued Wednesday.
Erik Rockne, 39, the son of one of the founders of the Breckenridge ski area and a prominent real-estate agent, was hauled to jail after a relatively minor violation of his bond conditions, while the woman has two felony convictions and other transgressions that have not prompted the Summit County district attorney to charge her with probation violations. “It just goes to show there are two different levels of justice: one when you are an incredibly important witness, and one when you are in the rifle scope of a prosecutor,” defense attorney Larry Pozner said.
He argued that District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has a conflict and should be replaced by a special prosecutor because the woman is a witness in one case while she is a defendant in another in Hurlbert's jurisdiction.
Rockne is accused of attempted murder, assault and rape in the November 29, 2006, confrontation at his Breckenridge home that put his accuser a former longtime girlfriend in the hospital, near death, with internal bleeding from a ruptured bladder.
Rockne claims that he kneed her in the stomach in self-defense only after she attacked him.
Since then, the 40-year-old woman has been charged with arson, criminal mischief and domestic violence after allegedly torching the apartment of her subsequent paramour, a former Summit County judge, in April. She also alleged sexual assault by two other men but the prosecutors declined to file charges.
And prior to that, she pled guilty to felony prescription fraud and felony drug possession and had been investigated in five other felony cases, all while serving on probation in four drunken-driving cases, Pozner said.
“She has had an opportunity to be convicted of 20 felonies. The Summit County prosecutor has won a conviction of one felony. She has had four opportunities to be charged as a habitual criminal, and she's been charged zero times,” said Pozner, of Denver.
Rockne, meanwhile, was jailed in February for violating a “no contact” order after he spotted the woman's adult son in town walking on crutches and gave him a ride to his destination a short distance away, Pozner said.
Hurlbert countered that the state probation department - not his office - is responsible for charging convicts with a probation violation, and charging the woman with the latest crimes shows that he is not biased.
“Quite honestly, judge, it's probably better if she's in prison,” Hurlbert acknowledged. “She won't commit any more crimes. She won't drink.”
Clear Creek County Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez ruled against installing a special prosecutor, saying she didn't know whether the decision to file charges against the woman would hurt the prosecution's case.
© 2007 by Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News
May 26, 2007 Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall was relieved Friday after charges of false imprisonment stemming from a domestic dispute were dropped.
But he was left with a tinge of frustration that a dispute with his girlfriend evolved into such a public mess in the first place.
“Basically, I just thought from what happened it was kind of ridiculous for the arresting officer to take me down for something that wasn't a legit reason,” Marshall, 23, said hours after Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Leslie Hansen declined to proceed with the case.
“For my career to go through what it went through and my character and personality taking a hit over something that basically wasn't valid was an eye-opener to the high profile that me as an athlete has.”
Kathleen Walsh, spokeswoman for the 18 th Judicial District, said the case didn't proceed further because Marshall had completed anger-management classes. His trial had been scheduled for June 7.
“It's very typical in cases like this,” she said. [That is certainly news to the Equal Justice Foundation!]
And Marshall did meet with the Broncos director of player and organizational development to hash out those issues, as mandated by the NFL.
But Harvey Steinberg, Marshall's lawyer, countered the reason false imprisonment and domestic violence counts were dismissed was because they weren't legitimate.
“My position from the beginning was that the charges should never have been filed,” Steinberg said. “We felt that Brandon had not committed a crime.”
Marshall, entering his second season with the Broncos, was arrested March 26, 2007, outside his apartment complex after a dispute with longtime girlfriend Rasheedah Watley that ended with the player blocking Watley's taxi from leaving. That incident capped a night that began with Marshall dropping off Watley at Denver International Airport for a flight to Atlanta his girlfriend never took.
Instead, the two paired up shortly thereafter and began their disagreement.
Steinberg's investigation revealed that when Watley later that night entered the taxi, she opened the glove box and put something inside, believed to be Marshall's Blackberry phone/pager. The taxi driver, he added, later confirmed he heard the player yelling “give me back my cell phone” at Watley outside the car.
“He was just trying to get back what she had taken improperly from him,” Steinberg said.
As for reports that Marshall had pounded on the taxi aggressively, the lawyer countered “there was never a suggestion of any threats. The taxi driver didn't report that she (the girlfriend) was threatened in any way. And obviously he's big enough if he wanted to break that window or dent that door, he could have done either.”
Marshall said the incident taught him the importance of controlling his emotions in high-stress moments. Still, while he bore some responsibility for the situation escalating “there was a moment where I let my emotions get the best of me,” he said - the receiver also wanted to make it clear he never struck Watley.
“It definitely wasn't a physical thing,” Marshall said.
“I grew up into a household where my father was abusive to my mother at one point. So my brother and I grew up in a household that saw that, and my mother taught us right from wrong and the correct way to treat a woman. We don't condone that at all in our household. It was one of those things where it was a disagreement. It was time for her to leave, and it so happened it turned into this. But everybody wanted to blow it up without knowing the actual truth.”
Staff writer Ivan Moreno contributed to this report.
© 2007 by Christopher N. Osher, The Denver Post
June 4, 2007 A hearing officer has reversed the city of Denver's decision to fire a police officer over allegations of domestic violence, citing the alleged victim's lack of a “mousy appearance” in his ruling.
The decision by hearing officer John Criswell drew a rebuke from a key advocate for battered women, who said a woman's appearance has no bearing on whether or not she was abused.
“I'm appalled that in 2007 that attitude is out there,” said Denise Washington, executive director of the Colorado Coalition of Domestic Violence. “What somebody looks like is not a predictor or indicator of whether they could be a potential victim of domestic violence.” [And we at the EJF are appalled that mere unfounded allegations suffice to find a man guilty. Also note that it is sufficient that a woman be a potential victim according to the CCADV.]
The decision also was a setback for top law enforcement officials who had hoped to set a precedent that would allow an officer accused of a crime in this case, domestic violence - to be fired even though he was never convicted. [The charge alone is sufficient proof.]
Criswell's ruling, handed down last month, came in the city's May 9, 2006, firing of police Officer Steven Sandoval. The city moved to fire Sandoval, a nine-year veteran of the force, after his then-wife, Corina, made two 911 phone calls from their Aurora home Aug. 13, 2005, alleging, “My husband is beating me again.”
Steven Sandoval was never charged with a crime primarily, the city of Denver contends - because he fled the scene and took his wife with him, frightening her by threatening her with potential arrest by Aurora police.
Independent monitor Richard Rosenthal, who oversees internal-affairs investigation, persuaded city officials to reinvestigate the allegations internally after they originally concluded the case could not be sustained.
“I know they pretty much had told me that traditionally there's a perceived need for a conviction before any disciplinary action,” Rosenthal said. “People have told me that this was a change in culture and in the thought process.” [To say nothing of a complete abandonment of the rule of law.]
Buying into Rosenthal's thinking were both Police Chief Gerald Whitman and Safety Manager Al LaCabe, the top city official in charge of police officers. Both supported firing Sandoval, who faced five other domestic-assault allegations from July 2002 and August 2004, one in which his wife alleged he tried to run her off the road. [In our experience women are commonly serial accusers and judge shopping is common with domestic violence and abuse accusations. The woman simply keeps filing claims in different courts or jurisdictions until one of them sticks or the man is presumed guilty because he has been charged so many times with so many crimes.]
They fired Sandoval because they concluded he violated the law by beating his wife and was untruthful during an investigation into the actions. They also say he engaged in “conduct prejudicial” by fleeing the scene. [All advice states the man should leave to defuse the situation.]
None of the earlier domestic- assault allegations was sustained in earlier internal-affairs investigations after Corina Sandoval, who also had obtained two restraining orders against her husband alleging physical abuse, refused to cooperate with investigators.
The city decided to fire Steven Sandoval after it had a domestic- violence expert, Barbara Zeek Shaw, review his history. She concluded he was a batterer and stressed that his wife's refusal to cooperate with investigators was “consistent with a battered woman trying to protect herself from further negative consequences.” [Yes, he must be guilty or she wouldn't have said he was. And some redfem then says he has to be a batterer even though it can't be proven in a court of law even under today's star chamber proceedings.]
The city is preparing an appeal of Cris well's ruling to the Civil Service Commission.
“I think it's an indication of recognizing the need for the department to hold officers accountable for their actions regardless of the outcome of the criminal- justice system,” Rosenthal said. [And good luck on finding good cops in the future in your redfem universe.]
Criswell, in his ruling, said the city never proved any domestic assault. He said Sandoval should receive a 30-day suspension for impeding an investigation into his actions by leaving the scene the night of August 13, 2005. [Again, any man is well advised to leave in such domestic conflicts. So the officer did the smart thing and was fired because of it.]
Criswell reversed the city's decision despite Corina Sandoval's testimony that her husband pushed her to the ground and kicked her in the stomach that night after he found divorce papers in their kitchen and ripped them up. A neighbor testified that she saw Corina Sandoval several days later with minor bruises on her arm and walking strangely.
Criswell sided with Steven Sandoval, who testified his wife was the aggressor and that he had merely pushed her back.
“Any minor differing accounts between the two upon this point are, I conclude, nothing more than differing perceptions of an admittedly emotional event,” Criswell wrote.
In his ruling, Criswell noted that Sandoval testified that his wife could experience great mood swings and that Sandoval said he was the one who had to defend himself.
“Corina appears to have a reasonably strong, independent personality; she does not present a 'mousy' appearance in any senses of that word,” Criswell wrote.
Criswell did not return calls or an e-mail seeking comment.
Sandoval is now moving to get reinstated as a police officer with back pay, said his lawyer, Douglas Jewel.
“Either we live by actual rule of law around here or we determine guilt simply by speaking the name of a charge,” Jewel said. “Steven Sandoval is a highly commended, experienced officer who is anxious to return to work and is in the process of doing so as we speak.”
A hearing officer for the Civil Service Commission “found that Sandoval did not assault his wife” on August 13, 2005. After that ruling Sandoval sued the city and, as of March 29, 2008, was being offered a measly $13,500 to “voluntarily resign” his position and drop his civil suit.
Staff writer Christopher N. Osher can be reached at 303-954-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to an Associated Press article that appeared in the September 3, 2007, edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette (p. A6), Cathryn Windham, 28, of Fort Collins was arrested in June for assault and domestic violence. She admitted to having a few drinks that night and was ordered to undergo periodic sobriety monitoring. She was told that if she missed a test or failed one she would have to wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) bracelet.
Despite her claim that she never failed a test, although it is unknown whether she missed any, she was ordered to wear a SCRAM bracelet and pay $11/day for its use. However, the device reportedly caused severe bruising, blistering, and pain. As a result she removed the bracelet and filed a lawsuit stating she was being punished without a trial.
Denver Post, p. 2C
July 29, 2007 A woman called the Boulder County Sheriff's Office on Friday night to report she had just shot her husband, officials say.
April McCorkle, 43, was arrested for investigation of first-degree assault in the shooting of Robert McCorkle, 48, in the stomach with a handgun, Cmdr. Phil West, Boulder sheriff's spokesman, said Saturday.
April McCorkle called the Sheriff's Office at 8:48 p.m. from her home in the 1200 block of Camp Eden Road near Wondervu.
Officers from the Boulder and Gilpin County sheriff's offices and the Nederland Police Department responded, West said.
Robert McCorkle had been shot in the lower abdomen, and the bullet had passed through his body, he said.
Officials found the gun at the home and arrested April McCorkle, West said.
Robert McCorkle was listed in serious but stable condition at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver. He underwent surgery Friday night, West said.
Sheriff's deputies continue to investigate what caused the confrontation, he said.
Abstracted from story in the Denver Post, p. 2B
August 14, 2007 A woman's body was discovered the afternoon of August 11 th at a Summit County campsite after her injured boyfriend was found by a hiker earlier that day about a quarter-mile from the couple's campsite.
The boyfriend had been stabbed in the right thigh by the woman the night before. After the domestic altercation, the woman, Johanna Briscoe, 29, helped him bandage the wound, said Paulette Horr, spokeswoman for the Summit County Sheriff's Office. He then fell asleep and found Ms. Briscoe dead when he awoke, Horr said.
Her incoherent boyfriend was found near the North Fuller Placer trailhead Saturday morning by a hiker.
Horr said that the man, whose age and identity aren't being released because he is a domestic-violence victim, was in no shape to help rescuers find the campsite. She said that about 15 searchers looked for the campsite for several hours before finding it about a quarter-mile away located in a heavily wooded and isolated area.
Investigators said that evidence at the site corroborated the boyfriend's story, including blood on Ms. Briscoe's hand.
“They had been together and living in the woods for a couple of years,” said Horr, who added that both had been drinking when the stabbing occurred. Ms. Briscoe was described as a longtime squatter, originally from Oklahoma, who had lived year-round in her tent for several years.
Horr said there are a surprising number of year-round squatters in the mountains of Colorado. She said most camp on U.S. forest land but that, occasionally, Summit County officers find them elsewhere.
Joanne Richardson, the Summit County coroner, said today that the death was not suspicious and foul play doesn't appear to be involved. Richardson said there were no visible marks on the woman and that an autopsy didn't indicate what killed Briscoe. The cause of death won't be ruled on until the results of toxicology tests are received later this month, she added.
Richardson said the woman was described by her family as a “free spirit.”
“She wanted to be alone and by herself,” Richardson said. “She was a squatter in the woods and lived in her tent, even during the winter.”
The woman also had a reputation in Summit County, the coroner added. “She lost her temper easily when drunk,” Richardson said.
She added that the investigation is ongoing and won't be completed until the toxicology reports are received. No charges have been filed.
© 2007by Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post
October 26, 2007 A 30-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday in Fort Collins as a suspect in the stabbing of a Loveland man.
Carrie L. Hoffman is being held at the Larimer County Detention Center on suspicion of first degree assault, among other charges, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.
On October 20 th the Larimer County Sheriff's Office received a report of a 32-year-old man being stabbed. The stabbing happened on the 4400 block of West Eisenhower Boulevard and the attacker, who knew the victim, drove the man to the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, police said in a press release.
The man's injury was not life-threatening.
While the victim was in the hospital, several items were stolen from his business.
On Wednesday, police, following leads, deputies contacted Hoffman at a Waffle House on East Highway 14 where she was taken into custody without incident.
After interviewing Hoffman, investigators recovered several stolen items in her vehicle, police said.
Hoffman is being held at the Larimer County Detention Center. Her bond has been set at $75,000 and she also faces possible burglary and felony theft charges.
Kieran Nicholson: 303-954-1822 or email@example.com.
©2007 Colorado Springs Gazette
November 13, 2007 A man was stabbed Sunday by both his girlfriend and her 15-year-old daughter, then arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, Colorado Springs police said.
Police said they responded at 4:22 AM Sunday to 2020 W. Bijou St., where Omar Lopez, 32, allegedly threatened to stab the daughter of his girlfriend, Tina Wyatt.
Instead, Ms. Wyatt stabbed Lopez once in the arm with a knife according to police. When Lopez then tried to assault Wyatt, her daughter picked up the knife and stabbed Lopez in the hand, police said.
Both wounds were superficial, police said.
Mr. Lopez was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, both for Sunday morning's incidents and past warrants, police said. Tina Wyatt and her daughter won't face any charges because they were acting in self-defense, police said.
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