Hearing set on adult charges for juvenile suspect in police shooting
By Owen Woods | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE juvenile suspected of shooting Alamosa Police Officer Mollee Heeney was advised that he faces felony charges during a hearing in 12th Judicial District Court Thursday.
District Attorney Anne Kelly asked District Court Judge Crista Newmyer-Olsen that suspect Daniel Brandt face the charges as an adult. A hearing on whether Brandt will be tried as an adult will be held at the end of January.
The felony charges he faces could include attempted first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, according to Kelly in an earlier detention hearing in district court.
Brandt, and a second juvenile suspect who faces lesser charges and will be released with conditions, appeared virtually from the Pueblo Youth Services Center. A nearly packed gallery looked on.
Brandt, suspected of shooting Heeney after she responded to a neighborhood fight on Oct. 27, has a new defense team made up of Corbea Becker and Maralina Schoenfelder. Becker told the court they have yet to view discovery of the case or newly added search warrants.
A three-day transfer and preliminary hearing for Brandt was set for Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 to hear arguments on whether or not the charges are strong enough to allow the case to be transferred from juvenile court to district court. If the case is successfully transferred, Brandt will be tried as an adult.
A preliminary status hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30 to ensure that the transfer hearing can go forward.
Meanwhile, the second juvenile was ordered released at a separate detention hearing Thursday afternoon. The juvenile will be released from the Pueblo Youth Services Center on Monday and will be required to wear a GPS monitor, commit no further violations of the law, use no alcohol or controlled substances, submit to mental health evaluations and controlled substance evaluations, attend school, and have no contact with the alleged co-participant or witnesses and victims.
Defense was given five days to respond to Kelly’s objection to limiting pre-trial publicity. Kelly did not object to that request by the defense, but said the five days “is going to limit the ability for me to decide what information I can release and what I can’t release.”
Kelly asked the court to indicate that the people will comply with two separate rules (Rule 3.6 and Rule 3.8) of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and asked that “anything above and beyond that is not restricted by the Court.” The rules establish an ethical boundary for what the prosecutor of a case can and cannot release publicly, outside of open court.
Judge Newmyer-Olsen said that she will look at both responses and issue a written order “with respect to anything above and beyond what is required” by the rules.
Kelly also filed a motion for non-testimonial identification collection, which the defense objected to. The allegation is that a physical altercation took place between the juveniles and the other victim of the shooting, Ricardo Rangel. Kelly said the Pueblo Youth Center did not take photos of Brandt’s body, “so to the extent that any injuries the juvenile suffered are relevant in material to this case. Those injuries are not going to last forever, and so we need to do this right now.”
Becker pushed back, saying that “nothing that I’ve been provided indicates that there was any physical altercation. The affidavit just simply says there was arguing and fighting.”
She requested that a member of her defense team be present for the collection of any evidence.
Kelly did not object, and said the evidence could “potentially be exculpatory,” and that her office has an obligation to collect such evidence “if it exists.”
Judge Newmyer-Olsen ordered that evidence collection happen within 72 hours, ensuring a member of the defense team is present, and that Brandt’s modesty be preserved.
Heeney remains hospitalized as she continues to recover from her injuries after being shot twice.
Rangel, meanwhile, has been released from the hospital, according to Kelly.