DeVilbiss shortens term, will retire from bench Dec. 1 |

DeVilbiss shortens term, will retire from bench Dec. 1

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

9th District Court Judge J.E. DeVilbiss will retire from his post on Dec. 1, more than a month earlier than planned, the district’s chief judge said Monday.

DeVilbiss was expected to officially end his 20-year career with the 9th District ? composed of courts in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Meeker ? on Jan. 14. But on Monday, DeVilbiss informed district officials that his retirement would instead become effective on Dec. 1.

Judge Thomas Ossola, chief judge for the 9th Judicial District, said he was notified of DeVilbiss’ decision Monday morning.

“He has submitted a letter to the chief justice,” Ossola said.

Ossola did not cite a reason for DeVilbiss’ decision. DeVilbiss was sidelined by illness in late September and was unable to preside over the weeklong murder trial of Andrew Kachik. Ossola led proceedings in the case, which ended in Kachik’s conviction.

DeVilbiss, who was not available for comment, did lead Pitkin County District Court proceedings on Monday.

The judge’s change in plans won’t affect 9th District business, Ossola said, even though DeVilbiss’ successor won’t be able to report to work until Jan. 15. His caseload will be handled by a substitute judge until Aspen attorney James Boyd, 47, is ready to take over the 9th District bench early next year.

“It will just require some adjustments,” Ossola said.

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