Trial of assault suspect postponed |

Trial of assault suspect postponed

Naomi Havlen

The trial for a woman who allegedly tried to suffocate a friend’s daughter with an ammonia-soaked rag was postponed Wednesday morning until next year.Rye Nancy Eileen Newton, 56, is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly attacking the woman at her mother’s home in Highland Villas in January 2003. Newton pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity three months later.The 58 jurors who showed up to hear the trial were released around noon yesterday after the trial was postponed.Gail Nichols, deputy district attorney, said Newton and her attorney asked the judge to delay the trial. He agreed, setting the trial for April 19-21.Newton was arrested after the victim reported that someone entered her room while she was sleeping and covered her mouth with a wet towel, according to the arrest warrant. The victim, then 21, was the daughter of a woman who had known Newton for a while. The woman had let Newton stay at her home until they had a falling-out.The victim’s mother told police she believes that Newton snuck into her home the night before and slept in a therapy room on a massage table. The next morning Newton allegedly attacked the daughter and left the home through a sliding glass door in the victim’s room.The warrant says Newton was found nearby the home soon after police were called. Her appearance allegedly matched the description given by the victim, and footprints in the snow allegedly went from where Newton was found to the apartment.Newton pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent to the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo for an evaluation, according to court documents.In June, the institute found Newton’s mental health incompetent, but Newton obtained Boulder-based attorney Cliff Barnard rather than use the public defender. Barnard withdrew Newton’s insanity plea and entered a not guilty plea in April.Barnard could not be reached for comment. In addition to second-degree assault Newton was charged with menacing. Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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