Unsealed court documents shine light on deadly Frisco motel fight
Ryan Summerlin May 10, 2014
Arrest records in the investigation of the death of Summit County resident Blake Bostic are now public, providing for the first time the details about what allegedly transpired during the early morning hours of Monday, April 14, at the Snowshoe Motel in Frisco.
During a motions hearing in Summit County District Court Thursday, May 8, District Judge Karen Romeo ordered that the probable cause arrest affidavit for Charles Sattler, 42, of Michigan, be unsealed, provided the identities of eyewitnesses be redacted from the records. Sattler is the primary suspect in the alleged murder of Bostic.
The Summit Daily News retained attorneys Chris Beall and Tom Kelley, partners with Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz LLP in Denver, to file motions in April to have the case file unsealed.
According to the warrantless arrest affidavit, Frisco Police Department officers responded at about 2:20 a.m. April 14 to a report of a fight in progress at the Snowshoe Motel. Upon their arrival at the scene, officers found a white man with a beard, later identified as Bostic, lying motionless on the ground in the rear parking lot of the motel.
A second man, Ryan Stevens, was on top of Bostic crying and trying to use his cell phone. Stevens appeared intoxicated and also displayed signs of recovering from being recently knocked unconscious, records stated.
Officers immediately began CPR and radioed for medical assistance. Officers performed CPR for about one to two minutes before EMS crews from Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue arrived at the scene, records stated.
While officers were providing initial medical assistance, Sattler and a friend, Charles Upchurch, 42, exited a room at the motel and began asking officers questions, according to court records. Officers ordered the men to return to their room.
Once Lake Dillon firefighters were on scene and took control of medical services, officers questioned Stevens about what happened. Stevens said he and Bostic met Sattler and Upchurch at Ollie’s Pub & Grub in Frisco. The four men were drinking together at the bar and then decided to return to Sattler and Upchurch’s room at the Snowshoe Motel to continue drinking and to smoke marijuana, according to records.
According to Stevens’ statements at the scene, an argument broke out while they were at the motel. Stevens could not articulate the cause of the argument at the time, but told officers he was punched in the face and the next thing he knew he was lying on the ground outside.
Initial interviews at the scene with Sattler and Upchurch confirmed the four men were drinking together at the neighborhood bar. Sattler and Upchurch told officers they were contractors with a construction company in Denver and had spent the weekend in Vail with a friend. Due to inclement weather that closed Interstate 70, they decided to get a room at the Snowshoe Motel, according to records.
Bostic, a well-known chef in Summit County, at some point during the night sold Upchurch several bottles of homemade habanero hot sauce, or jelly, according to court records. Although it is not clear whether that transaction occurred at the bar or at the motel, Sattler told officers, “The jelly is what started this whole thing,” according to records.
Upchurch told officers he never wanted Bostic and Stevens to return to the motel with him and Sattler. According to his statements at the scene, there was an argument and the next thing he knew Bostic had punched him two or three times in the face. Sattler then stepped in.
Records show Upchurch had swelling below his left eye and had two lacerations approximately 12 inches in length on his right forearm.
Although Sattler maintained throughout the initial interview that he acted in self-defense, he also said to officers that he “hits like a champ,” according to records. After making that statement, he turned to Upchurch and asked, “I do damage when I hit somebody, huh?” records stated.
Upchurch then asked the officers present, “Don’t you know who this is? That’s Chuck Sattler. He’s a pro fighter,” according to records.
Sattler admitted to being a semi-professional mixed martial arts fighter. When asked if he hit Bostic or Stevens, he replied, “I could have hit them. I know I hit the big dude and after that, who knows. I snapped. If I snapped I don’t know what the (expletive) I did,” according to records.
Despite the vagueness of Sattler’s and Upchurch’s statements, two eyewitnesses, who will remain anonymous in accordance with Romeo’s ruling, described a slightly different account of the alleged incident.
According to their statements to police, the witnesses also were staying at the Snowshoe Motel and reported having difficulty sleeping beginning before 1 a.m. due to “party noises” coming from the unit next door. At about 2 a.m., one of the witnesses decided to walk next door and ask Sattler, Upchurch, Bostic and Stevens to quiet down.
By the time that witness walked outside, the alleged fight had already spilled into the rear parking lot of the Snowshoe Motel.
The witness reported seeing Stevens knocked out and lying on his truck, which was parked in the rear lot, according to records.
Bostic also was knocked out and lying on the ground in the rear parking lot, the witness said. The witness told officers he watched as Sattler held Bostic up by the collar and punched him several times in the face, according to records.
A third eyewitness, who also will remain anonymous, gave a similar report. That witness told officers that although he did not observe what happened inside the unit, he observed Sattler assaulting Bostic.
Officers noted in their reports that Sattler had a cut and was bleeding from the knuckles on his right hand.
First responders performed CPR at the scene for about 40 minutes, records stated. Bostic was then transported to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, 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.
Sattler and Upchurch were taken into police custody after the alleged fight. Upchurch was later released and not charged.
Sattler is 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 district court with one count each of second-degree murder, a Class 2 felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
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