Suspected hostage-taker hires well-known Denver attorney
A 30-year-old Colorado Springs man suspected of holding three men at gunpoint and repeatedly threatening to kill them in July has hired a high-profile Denver attorney known for representing sports stars in trouble.
Brolin McConnell, a real estate agent now facing two counts of attempted murder plus 12 other felonies, fired local attorney Lawson Wills on Monday and hired Harvey Steinberg, according to court documents and proceedings. A lawyer from Steinberg’s firm, Springer and Steinberg, appeared on behalf of Steinberg in Pitkin County District Court in Aspen on Monday.
Steinberg defended former Denver Broncos players Perrish Cox, Elvis Dumervil, Bill Romanowski and Brandon Marshall, among others. Cox was acquitted of two counts of rape in 2012, Romanowski was acquitted of illegally obtaining diet drugs, and Marshall was found innocent of battery charges.
Police say McConnell held two handguns on three men he didn’t know July 26 about a quarter of a mile down Lincoln Creek Road, which is located several miles up Highway 82 toward Independence Pass. Two of the men told police he repeatedly threatened to shoot the men in the head.
However, no one, including McConnell, was injured in the incident, which ended when the hostages ran away and police closed in.
Ryan Kalamaya, a local Aspen attorney, said Monday he is representing the three men and contemplating filing a civil lawsuit against McConnell.
In addition to the two first-degree attempted murder charges, McConnell also faces two counts of attempted first-degree kidnapping, 10 counts of first-degree kidnapping and misdemeanor prohibited use of a weapon.
McConnell has been held at the Pitkin County Jail since the July incident on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
In other court news Monday:
• A 32-year-old man arrested on suspicion of methamphetamine possession who authorities say later flooded the Pitkin County Jail, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage, will now face court-monitored sobriety testing.
District Judge Chris Seldin ordered the testing Monday over the objections of Benjamin Garrett’s attorney, who argued that her client has remained sober and appeared for court since his release from jail.
“Additional layers of supervision are not necessary,” said public defender Molly Owens. “What it looks like to me is he’s actually doing pretty darn well on bond.”
Glenwood Springs-based District Judge Denise Lynch released Garrett on a $3,000 personal-recognizance bond in August after the incident and imposed no conditions on the release. However, Aspen prosecutor Andrea Bryan objected to the lack of conditions in a motion filed last week in District Court.
On Monday, Seldin agreed with Bryan, saying that methamphetamine appeared to be a factor in the incident and that monitored sobriety can provide an incentive to remaining sober.
Garrett was arrested after calling police and reporting that a group of 30 people were trying to tow his car. A police officer who responded found no credence to that story and was about to give Garrett a ride to his girlfriend’s workplace when Garrett volunteered that he had meth and a pipe in his pocket, according to a police report.
He was taken to jail, where authorities say he later broke off a piece of metal from the ceiling, used it to destroy a sprinkler head in his cell and then fought with deputies when they tried to enter the cell. Authorities say water from the sprinkler leaked into the jail’s basement, where sensitive computer equipment was destroyed.
• A 24-year-old woman who threatened her boyfriend with a knife last month pleaded guilty Monday to felony menacing and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.
Lauren Bodene could have faced a prison sentence between one and three years, though prosecutor Andrea Bryan agreed to a one-year deferred sentence, meaning that if she stays out of trouble for a year the felony conviction will be wiped from her record. Bodene had no previous history of domestic violence, Bryan said.
Bodene’s boyfriend told police that after drinking at a Snowmass Village bar, the two began fighting when they returned home. At one point, Bodene stabbed the knife into a cutting board before she “came after him with a knife,” according to a police report.
• A 34-year-old man accused of threatening three people in the Thompson Creek area in July and wandering around in various stages of undress was released to his mother Monday.
Jacob Hadar’s mother displayed “impressive diligence” in finding her son a spot at a mental-health treatment facility in Boulder, said his lawyer, Owens. Seldin agreed and modified his bond to a $5,000 personal-recognizance bond so his mother could transport him to the facility.
However, before the release can happen, Garfield County authorities also must release him, according to a Pitkin County jail deputy.
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