D.A. objects to insanity plea in hostage case | AspenTimes.com

D.A. objects to insanity plea in hostage case

Staff report

A Colorado Springs man who allegedly took three people hostage on Independence Pass should not be allowed to change his plea in the case to not guilty by reason of insanity.

That’s according to prosecutor Sarah Oszczakiewicz, who stated in a recent Pitkin County District Court filing that Brolin McConnell’s notice last month that he intends on changing his plea is questionable because he doesn’t show why he wants to do so.

McConnell must explain why he didn’t enter the insanity plea when he was arraigned on the numerous serious charges against him Oct. 16, Oszczakiewicz wrote in a response motion filed last week. Such a change is only allowed under certain circumstances, the motion states.

“Specifically, the People request the Defendant show good cause why his decision to enter a late plea of (not guilty by reason of insanity) is not intended to create delay or run the clock on his right to a speedy trial,” the prosecutor’s motion states.

If Judge Chris Seldin allows McConnell to change his plea, then the DA’s Office wants McConnell to waive his right to a speedy trial because he will have to be examined — perhaps more than once — to determine his sanity, which usually takes a significant amount of time, according to Oszczakiewicz’s motion.

McConnell, 31, allegedly took three young men hostage at gunpoint on Lincoln Creek Road in July 2016. No one was physically injured in the incident, though the reason behind McConnell’s actions has never been explained. A drug screen found only a small amount of marijuana in his system at the time of the incident.

McConnell has remained in the Pitkin County Jail ever since the alleged hostage taking on a $500,000 cash-only bond.