Ex-husband of Vail Valley woman accused of false reporting: ‘Didn’t stash her in a dumpster’
Linnea Hayda’s trial for charges of false reporting continues in Eagle
- False reporting: Police and prosecutors claim she concocted a story that she was abducted and dropped in a dumpster in Vail.
- Attempting to influence a public official:Police and prosecutors say she lied to them about it.
- Tampering with evidence: Police and prosecutors say she concocted evidence to support her story, which they say she also concocted.
EAGLE — Linnea Hayda’s trial continued Monday morning with the second day of testimony from her most recent ex-husband.
Hayda claimed that on March 26, 2018, her ex-husband abducted her from the Avon parking lot when she was leaving work, put a bag over her head, threw her in the back of her car, zip-tied her wrists and ankles and dropped her in a dumpster near the Vail apartment complex where they once lived together.
Vail Police and prosecutors with the District Attorney’s Office claim none of that is true. They say Hayda put herself in that dumpster, concocted her story to implicate her ex-husband to manipulate a custody battle over their two children, and then lied to police about it.
‘Didn’t stash her in a Dumpster’
Hayda’s ex-husband took the stand just before noon Friday and wrapped up his testimony at 10:15 a.m. Monday.
Defense attorney Thea Reiff and Deputy District Attorney Johnny Lombardi sparred over questions, with Reiff digging at the Vail Police Department’s investigation and Lombardi drilling holes in Hayda’s version of events.
“Did you stash Ms. Hayda in a dumpster?” Lombardi asked Hayda’s ex-husband.
“No,” he responded.
“Did you have zip ties with you on March 26, 2018?” Lombardi asked.
“No,” he said.
During his testimony, Hayda’s ex-husband said Hayda was arrested three times for domestic violence, pushing him in front of their children.
He said all three times he was scared for his children’s safety, as well as his own.
“After her third arrest for domestic violence in front of my children, I wanted this relationship to be over,” he said.
On the day Hayda claims she was abducted, March 26, 2018, she was under protection orders to keep her away from her ex-husband and the Vail apartment where he lived with the children. He was under one restraining order to keep himself away from her and he had custody of their two children.
In custody hearings before the dumpster incident, Hayda asked for unsupervised visitation with their children. Her ex-husband and his attorney cited her mental instability in objecting to that request.
After Hayda was found, sheattempted suicide twice in two weeks, was found unconscious and hospitalized for a drug overdose, and was involuntarily placed under a psychiatric hold, according to testimony in court.
Ex-husband’s whereabouts accounted for
Prosecutors say witnesses have accounted for Hayda’s ex-husband’s whereabouts during the incident.
On Monday, her ex-husband testified that on the afternoon of March 26, 2018, he left his job as a cook at the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards at 4 p.m., drove straight home, took a shower and walked his dog. He said he did not stop in Avon, as Hayda claims.
He picked up his children from daycare at the Vail Childcare Center. Director Cindy Lagace testified that he signed out their two children for the day.
During Hayda’s ex-husband’s testimony, Reiff took aim at the Vail Police investigation.
“The officers did not ask if you put Ms. Hayda in the dumpster to push her over the edge,” Reiff asked.
“I did not put anybody in a dumpster,” he answered.
Reiff asked if police asked him if he had any drugs that would render Hayda helpless.
“No,” he replied.
“They did not take DNA swabs of the rear compartment of your car,” Reiff asked.
“It was more than a year ago. I cannot recall every question asked,” he responded.
Meredith Mueller works at Axis Sports Medicine in Avon where Hayda was an employee. Mueller said Hayda worked a normal shift on March 26, but did not come to work on March 27. Hayda came to the office around 6:30 p.m. that day and spoke with Mueller.
“She said she had spent the night in a dumpster,” Mueller said.
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