DA files motion to unseal Nancy Pfister homicide case
The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office took its first official steps Thursday to unseal court records in the homicide case of longtime Aspen resident Nancy Pfister.
District Attorney Sherry Caloia said a two-page motion was filed in Pitkin County District Court asking District Judge Gail Nichols to make the case public. Ever since Pfister’s body was discovered at her home off of West Buttermilk Road on Feb. 26, the entire case has been sealed. Initially, the District Attorney’s Office sought a court-ordered seal because the case had been under investigation.
But now, with three suspects in custody on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, Caloia said the investigatory phase of the case is nearly complete and there’s no reason to keep the case under wraps.
“We decided we no longer need to have things under seal for our investigative purposes, since that (the investigation) was reason for the sealing it,” she said.
Caloia could not release the motion because it is part of the sealed case file, she said.
Defense attorneys for the three defendants can challenge the motion. Should that be the case, a judge would hear oral arguments in a court hearing, Caloia said.
The suspects are Front Range couple William Styler III and Nancy Styler, along with Pfister’s former assistant, Katherine Carpenter, of Aspen. Police arrested the Stylers on March 3. Carpenter was arrested March 14. The three are being held in different jails on no bond.
William Styler, 65, is represented by Tina Fang, chief trial lawyer of the Glenwood Springs office of the public defender, along with Deputy Public Defender Sara Steele, who works out of Aspen. Nancy Styler, 62, has court-appointed attorneys Garth McCarty, of Glenwood Springs, and Beth Krulewitch, of Aspen. Greg Greer, of Glenwood Springs, and Kathleen Lord, of Denver, are counsel for Carpenter, 56.
The three are due back in court on April 23 for the purpose of setting the preliminary hearing, which is held to determine whether the prosecution has probable cause to bind the case over for trial.
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May 27 is the target day for Eagle County to emerge from COVID-19 public health orders. “We want our community to have that on the calendar to work toward,” said Eagle County Emergency Management Director Birch Barron.