Lawyers seek more evidence in monoxide case
December 7, 2010
ASPEN – Arraignments scheduled Monday for three men indicted by a Pitkin County grand jury in connection with four November 2008 carbon monoxide poisoning deaths were postponed so defense attorneys can gain access to more evidence.
Speaking on behalf of defense attorneys involved in the three separate cases, Denver lawyer Abraham Hutt said joint motions would be filed to obtain more discovery in connection to charges that implicate former Pitkin County building inspector Erik Peltonen, city of Aspen building inspector Brian Pawl, and Roaring Fork Plumbing and Heating owner Marlin Brown.
On July 22, a grand jury indicted Pawl, 46, of Basalt on four misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment. Peltonen, 68, of Basalt, and Brown, 57, of Glenwood Springs, both face four felony counts of criminally negligent homicide and four misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment. Peltonen, who is now retired, inspected the house when he was a city of Aspen employee.
The grand jury proceedings began in July 2009 and were closed to the public.
Monday, Grand Junction attorney Colleen B. Scissors said she might file a motion contending that some of the evidence presented to members of the grand jury was “inaccurate.”
Likewise, Scissors, who represents Brown, and Hutt, who’s defending Peltonen, told District Judge James Boyd that they will file motions to dismiss the misdemeanor indictments against their clients.
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If they do so, they’ll be following the cue of attorneys Gerald Goldstein and James Jenkins, who filed a motion Friday seeking the dismissal of four misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment against Aspen building inspector Brian Pawl.
Goldstein and Jenkins contend the statute of limitations had expired by the time the grand jury indicted Pawl. According to their motion, the indictment says Pawl’s alleged infractions occurred “on or between January 1, 2004, and January 1, 2006,” the latter date being “at least four years and seven months after Pawl allegedly committed the crimes,” Friday’s motion says.
The three defendants also attended Monday’s hearing. They are scheduled to return to Pitkin County District Court on Feb. 11.
On Thanksgiving 2008, Caroline Lofgren, 42, her husband, Parker, 39, and their two children, Owen, 10, and Sophie, 8, died from carbon monoxide poisoning at a home located on 10 Popcorn Lane, about 3 1/2 miles east of Aspen. The Denver family had won a stay at the home at an auction held at the children’s school.