News in Brief |

News in Brief

Aspen, CO Colorado


Two defendants appeared in District Court on Thursday for their arraignment on charges of aiding Steven Appl, the man who shot a state trooper Oct. 24.

Both Wayne Hangs and Nicole Brownell were advised of the charges Nov. 29.

Hangs appeared Thursday without an attorney and said he was confused about the charges of being an accessory to a crime and tampering with evidence.

“I’m not sure of what I’m actually being accused of,” he said. “I don’t know what part of it I’m involved in.”

Police reports say Appl had been hiding in Hangs’ home south of Silt after shooting and seriously wounding State Trooper Brian Koch. Appl later shot and killed himself after the vehicle he was hiding in was stopped at a police checkpoint.

According to police reports, Brownell, a resident in Hangs’ home, took Cori Graham to the home and asked her to drive Appl to Silt in hopes of helping him elude authorities. Graham also faces charges related to her role as driver of the vehicle. She is due in District Court today.

Brownell is set to appear in court on Jan. 19, and Hangs on Feb. 2. ( Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” In preparation for a 21-day arson trial, the attorney for defendant Robin Jay Clifton has filed a motion for change of venue.

Arnie Mordkin said in the motion he filed Dec. 25 with District Court that pretrial publicity in the form of newspaper stories has prejudiced area residents who could be called for jury duty in the case.

Clifton, who is in custody in Garfield County Jail on $500,000 bond, appeared briefly in court with his attorney Thursday morning.

He faces charges of setting four fires on Sept. 5, 2005, that destroyed the Rifle Amoco station and nearly destroyed the Fireside Lanes bowling alley. He also allegedly set fires that did not cause extensive damage to a restaurant and a townhouse under construction.

His criminal trial, which could be one of Garfield County’s longest-running, is set to begin May 29. ( Glenwood Springs Post Independent)