Attempted murder on Transfer Trail
Garfield County deputies arrested a 30-year-old Glenwood Springs man on an attempted murder charge Saturday after investigators say he sliced open his brother’s throat on Transfer Trail.
Brian Dunlap called up his brother, Jason Dunlap, 33, that day in hopes of tagging along for a camping trip to Haypress Lake north of Glenwood Springs.
The pair drove up Transfer Trail for about 7 to 10 miles and decided to stop and wait for a friend, according to the arrest affidavit.
They had a six-pack of Bud Light and drank a couple beers each, the affidavit said. Brian would later say the brothers got into an argument about four-wheeling routes. The pair frequently get into fights, both brothers later told police.
Brian said that Jason attacked him, so Brian pulled a pocket knife and slashed at his brother’s throat.
A deputy at Valley View Hospital would later observe a laceration to Jason’s neck about 4 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch deep. A nurse reported that she could see an artery in his neck.
Jason was still able to talk to investigators that afternoon.
Luckily, soon after Jason’s throat had been cut, the friend they were waiting on arrived and took the injured man to Valley View.
Another man driving up Transfer Trail later found Brian Dunlap lying on the truck’s tailgate with a dog, the truck covered in blood.
“He asked the male if he was OK and the male fell off of the tailgate onto the ground,” according to an affidavit.
Brian told the man that he’d gotten into a fight with his brother and that he needed to get down the mountain to see if the brother was still alive.
With a tip from the man who’d picked him up, deputies later found Brian Dunlap at the trailhead with blood on his shirt and hands.
Deputies also saw Brian had a contusion on his left eye.
They didn’t find a knife in his pocket, as the man who picked him up reported, but deputies did see a lot of blood inside and outside of this pocket.
Brian told investigators that his brother had attacked him, which he said he “returned in kind” with the knife, according to an affidavit.
“Based on my training and experience, including being an instructor specializing in defensive tactics, it is known to me that a knife cut in the area of the neck can be fatal on multiple levels, to include severing the carotid artery or jugular vein,” a deputy wrote in Dunlap’s affidavit. “An edged weapon attack of this caliber to a high risk anatomy area such as the neck is indicative of attempting to murder the person that you are attacking.”
Dunlap faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, a class 3 felony, and first-degree assault, also a class 3 felony.
Dunlap’s bond was set at $60,000 upon his arrest, and Magistrate Holly Strablizky on Monday lowered it to $35,000 cash surety bond. Strablizky said the attempted second-degree murder charges carries a potential sentence of 10 to 32 years in prison.
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Judge Mark Thompson, who presided over courts in Eagle, Summit, Clear Creek and Lake counties, will not resume his duties as a judge upon his eventual return from planned time off. He has been charged with a single count of felony menacing.