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June 23, 2014
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Second suspect in Swan Mountain machete attack detained without bond

A second suspect in the alleged machete attack on Swan Mountain Road was ordered Monday, June 23, to be detained without bond during a detention hearing in Summit County District Court.

The suspect is a 16-year-old boy residing somewhere on the Front Range, said 5th Judicial deputy district attorney John Franks. The suspect is charged with one count each of attempted first-degree murder, a Class 2 felony; first-degree assault, a Class 3 felony; menacing, a Class 5 felony; and conspiracy, a Class 6 felony.

During Monday’s hearing, Franks requested the court detain the minor without bond, citing the violent nature of the alleged offense. In addition, Franks said it was likely the district attorney’s office would file additional charges of first- and/or second-degree kidnapping, as well as crime of violence sentencing enhancers.

“Anyone reading the affidavit would agree that this is an extremely fortunate case in the sense that the victim was not killed,” Franks said. “We have not made a final decision, but it is extremely likely we would file a motion to try the juvenile as an adult.”

The district attorney’s office will make the determination of whether to try the suspect as an adult within a week, Franks said.

Franks also cited the minor’s prior criminal history in requesting the suspect be detained without bond, citing two prior cases out of Jefferson County, including a 2009 Class 6 felony case for allegedly bringing a weapon to school and a 2012 trespass of an automobile with the intent to commit theft case.

Franks highlighted those prior incidents in arguing that the minor represents a danger to public safety. Franks also noted the minor was placed on suicide watch when taken into custody late last week and was therefore also a danger to himself if released from custody.

The suspect’s biological parents and stepfather appeared during Monday’s hearing. His father, who will remain unidentified to protect the privacy rights of juveniles going through the court system, disagreed with the district attorney’s claims and made a plea to have his son released into his custody.

“I don’t feel he is a threat to the community,” the suspect’s father said. “He stays with me. The pocket knife incident at school when he was 11 years old was a bad, bad mistake, but he is not a violent kid.”

In making his ruling, Thompson said the court must take into consideration prior criminal acts even if it doesn’t have the specifics of the case on hand.

“These prior incidents certainly suggest at least the possibility of being a danger to the community or himself,” Thompson said in his ruling to detain the minor without bond. “The suicide watch, although it does not appear to me is still an immediate danger, is still also a concern.”

The suspect is scheduled to return to district court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 3, for a formal advisement of the charges.

“Anyone reading the affidavit would agree that this is an extremely fortunate case in the sense that the victim was not killed. We have not made a final decision, but it is extremely likely we would file a motion to try the juvenile as an adult.”

John Franks
5th Judicial deputy district attorney


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The Summit Daily Updated Jun 23, 2014 08:34PM Published Jun 26, 2014 07:08AM Copyright 2014 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.