Summit County judge to consider motion to unseal records in Frisco homicide case
April 29, 2014
Charles Sattler appeared Monday, April 28, before 5th Judicial District Judge Karen Romeo for a hearing, in which the court was expected to rule on a motion to unseal certain records pertaining to the investigation of the death of Summit County resident Blake Bostic.
The motion was submitted to the court Friday, April 18, by attorney Chris Beall, a partner with Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz LLP in Denver. The Summit Daily News retained Beall after Romeo signed off on a motion filed Tuesday, April 15, by the 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office to temporarily seal the case file. Specifically, the Summit Daily requested the court make Sattler's arrest affidavit available for inspection.
In a written response dated Friday, April 25, the district attorney's office said it would not oppose a ruling to unseal those documents, as long as the identities of witnesses are redacted from the records. The district attorney cited concerns about witness safety given the nature of the alleged crime.
During Monday's hearing, Tom Kelley, also of Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz, told the court the Summit Daily would honor the district attorney's request and ensure witnesses remain anonymous in its reporting until the case goes to trial.
However, Romeo was not prepared to make a ruling about the motion, saying she had not yet fully considered the Summit Daily's 15-page motion and its 59 pages of accompanying exhibits. The Colorado Public Defender's Office in Dillon also submitted a written response to the Summit Daily's motion, Romeo said.
Public defender Sommer Spector said her office is requesting the court file remain sealed. The argument to keep the file sealed is unclear, as the public defender's response was not available by press time.
Romeo scheduled Sattler's next hearing for 10 a.m. Thursday, May 8, at which time she will hear arguments from all sides about the Summit Daily's motion to unseal court records. Romeo also set a preliminary hearing for 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 26. A bond hearing also will take place at 2 p.m. that day.
After Monday's hearing, 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown spoke briefly about his office's motion to seal Sattler's arrest affidavit. During Sattler's advisement hearing on April 15, deputy district attorney John Franks said he anticipates the public defender to argue Bostic's death was the result of self-defense.
Although the case remains under investigation by the Frisco Police Department, Brown said witness reports suggest evidence of "gratuitous violence well beyond self-defense." The DA argued the motion to seal court records was made to protect the safety of witnesses as investigators continue to try to determine what happened the night Bostic died.
Sattler, 42, remains in custody at Summit County jail pending his June 26 bond hearing. The district attorney's office has requested bond in the amount of $250,000 given Sattler's unknown ties to the Summit County community.
Sattler is charged in Summit County District Court with one count each of second-degree murder, a Class 2 felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. The charges stem from an unknown dispute that allegedly turned violent during the early morning hours of Monday, April 14, at the Snowshoe Motel in Frisco.
Bostic, 38, was rushed to Summit Medical Center after the incident where he was later pronounced dead. According to a preliminary autopsy report released Tuesday, April 15, by the Summit County Coroner's Office, Bostic died of closed head and neck injuries due to blunt force trauma consistent with a fight.
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