Appeals & Trials

Appeals

1)     17SA23:

  1. I filed an interlocutory appeal of a suppression order in in a juvenile delinquency case. The District Court suppressed the confession concluding that the statement was given involuntarily. I wrote the opening brief with another DDA. I wrote the reply brief.
  2. The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously reversed the suppression order. The decision is People In Interest of Z.T.T., 394 P.3d 700 (Colo. 2017).

2)  17CA704:

  1. I appealed the District Court’s sentence order in a drug case. I wrote the opening brief.
  2. The division of the Court of Appeals unanimously vacated the sentence and held that the sentence was unlawful. The decision was unpublished.

3)     17CA1678:

  1. I appealed a dismissal order by the District Court in a juvenile delinquency case. I wrote the opening brief and reply brief with an attorney from the Colorado Attorney General.  We split oral argument in front of the division of the Court of Appeals.
  2. The division issued a split decision with the majority affirming the dismissal order and the dissenting judge writing that the dismissal order should have been reversed. The decision is People In Interest of G.S.S., 467 P.3d 1131 (Colo. App. 2019).

4)   19SC118:

  1. We filed a petition for writ of certiorari requesting the Colorado Supreme Court to review the decision in People In Interest of G.S.S. I wrote the petition for writ of certiorari, the opening brief, and the reply brief with the same attorney from the Attorney General’s Office. We split oral argument in front of the Colorado Supreme Court. We also wrote a supplemental brief to address a jurisdictional issue at the direction of the Colorado Supreme Court.
  2. The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remanded the case for reinstatement of the delinquency petition. The decision is People In Interest of G.S.S., 462 P.3d 592 (Colo. 2020).

5) 18CA2038:

  1. I appealed the District Court’s order not binding over a drug distribution charge at preliminary hearing. I wrote the opening brief. I argued that the District Court abused its discretion but also that the division should exercise de novo review, as the District Court impliedly issued a categorical rule; that circumstantial evidence alone, cannot support an inference of knowing possession with intent to distribute.
  2. The division of the Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the District Court’s order and reinstated the distribution charge.  The decision was unpublished.

6)  19SA230:

  1. A defendant filed an appeal of the District Court’s order denying a preliminary hearing in a special offender drug case.
  2. The Colorado Supreme Court issued a rule to show cause and named the District Court as the Respondent.  The District Court was represented by an Assistant Solicitor General within the Attorney General’s Office.
  3. I filed a motion to intervene and in response, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered us to respond. I wrote the answer brief with assistance from another DDA. The District Court, through the Assistant Solicitor General, joined our brief in lieu of filing their own brief.
  4. The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously held that the defendant was entitled to a preliminary hearing and made the rule absolute. The decision is People v. Vanness, 458 P.3d 901 (Colo. 2020).

7)     2020SA11:

  1. I filed an interlocutory appeal from a suppression order of the District Court. The District Court suppressed statements made by the defendant during the execution of a search warrant at his home finding he was “in custody” for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona. I wrote the opening brief and reply brief and another DDA assisted in editing and formatting both briefs.
  2. The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously reversed the District Court’s suppression order. The decision is People v. Clark, 2020 CO 36.

8)     20SC807:

  1. Another DDA and I filed a petition for writ of certiorari from an order of the District Court vacating a judgment of the County Court after a jury trial.  The District Court held that there was insufficient evidence to prove that a provision of a protection order was designed to protect a victim from danger to life or health.
  2. The petition for writ of certiorari was denied but the Hon. Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright would have granted the petition as to one of the issues presented.

9)        22SC169:

  1. I filed a petition for writ of certiorari from an order of the district court affirming a suppression order of the county court. The county court suppressed the results of a chemical breath test.
  2. The petition for writ of certiorari was denied but Chief Jusitce Boatright would have granted the petition.

23CA383:

  1. I filed a petition requesting review per section 16-4-204, C.R.S. (2023) of an order issued by a weekend bond magistrate that the People could not argue, at the initial bond hearing, for a bond amount that was above the amount of bail set by the arrest warrant unless a motion had been filed to increase bond prior to the hearing. I also filed a reply brief, at the direction of the division, regarding how the court of appeals had jurisdiction over the appeal.
  2. The division unanimously agreed that the weekend bond magistrate abused her discretion by imposing such a restraint on the People’s argument at the initial bond hearing as no such requirement was found in the statutory scheme governing bond hearings. The decision was unpublished.
  1. Have you practiced in the trial courts of Colorado within the past five years? If so, please state what percentage of your total practice your trial practice constituted and the types of matters handled.

1)     40%.

2)     I have litigated felony trials including the following non-exhaustive list of offenses:

  1. murder in the first degree;
  2. murder in the second degree and attempted murder in the second degree;
  3. sexual assault;
  4. sexual assault on a child and sexual assault on a child – pattern of abuse;
  5. child abuse;
  6. sexual exploitation of a child;
  7. attempted kidnapping;
  8. contributing to the delinquency of a minor;
  9. vehicular homicide;
  10. vehicular assault;
  11. attempted first degree arson;
  12. second degree arson;
  13. driving under the influence;
  14. leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury;
  15. assault in the first degree;
  16. several types of assault in the second degree including assault on a peace officer;
  17. possession of a controlled substance;
  18. violation of bail bond conditions;
  19. theft;
  20. aggravated motor vehicle theft;
  21. possession of an explosive or incendiary device;
  22. menacing;
  23. burglary;
  24. false imprisonment;
  25. criminal tampering with a victim or witness; and
  26. habitual criminal sentence enhancers.

3)     I have also litigated Shreck/CRE 702 hearings.

  1. As a public defender, I litigated a Shreck hearing regarding Drug Recognition Evaluation.  Experts in the field are trained to discern impairments in drivers due to various classes of controlled substances. At the hearing, I established that the deputy was falsifying his rolling log, a log that tracks the accuracy of “calls” based on toxicology reports. The District Attorney subsequently refused to prosecute the deputy’s cases given his misconduct/dishonesty.
  1. I recently represented the People of the State of Colorado at a Shreck hearing on STRmix, a probabilistic genotyping software used in the field of DNA analysis. This included eliciting testimony from one of the software developers working for New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute, the Technical Lead for DNA analysis within the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Laboratories, and cross-examining a defense expert in DNA analysis and statistics. The District Court found that STRmix is a reliable scientific method and permitted testimony pertaining to the analysis at trial.