Assault victim succumbs to injuries
BRECKENRIDGE – Cody Wieland, who suffered massive brain injuries after several men assaulted him in the early-morning hours of Nov. 1, has died.
The 36-year-old man spent the past nine days on life support in the surgical intensive care unit of St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in Denver. Doctors said he was clinically brain dead and removed life support at 2 p.m. Sunday, according to Wieland’s wife, Katie. Wieland was proclaimed dead at 2:13 p.m.
His death likely means officials with the district attorney’s office will amend first-degree assault charges against three men accused of beating him. Assistant District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said he can’t change the charges until an autopsy determines the cause of death.
The autopsy is scheduled to take place in the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office at 8 a.m. today. Wieland’s wife gave approval for technicians to donate her husband’s skin, long bones and corneas for organ transplant.
“We don’t expect the autopsy to reveal any more information than we already have in medical records,” Summit County Coroner Dave Joslin said. “But it is the last opportunity to obtain definitive evidence from the deceased.”
Family members have said in the past week that Wieland was brain dead, and many assume forensic pathologists will find the cause of death was a result of the beating. If so, the three men accused of assaulting Wieland could face new charges ranging from second-degree murder to criminally negligent homicide.
Hurlbert and Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman declined to comment on what charges they might consider in light of Wieland’s death.
The three who stand accused of beating Wieland are Brandon Robbins and Michael Scott Dietert, both 21 and from Breckenridge, and 20-year-old Brian Stockdale, who is listed in the phone book as a Wildernest resident.
Robbins was released Thursday on a $50,000 cash bond. He is under house arrest and may not consume alcohol.
Currently, all three face charges of first-degree assault, a Class 3 felony punishable by a prison term of four to 16 years.
Witnesses said the altercation began with name calling in Mambo’s, a late-night restaurant and bar in the 200 block of South Main Street in Breckenridge. Employees asked all those involved in the argument to leave the establishment, at which point, the three allegedly ganged up on Wieland. Witnesses said one of the men was beating Wieland with a helmet as the fight progressed down the street. Emergency personnel found Wieland on the sidewalk adjacent to the Highlands Gallery in Reliance Place.
Witnesses said they had to stop the men from beating Wieland.
“I had no idea they had hurt him so bad,”one witness said the next morning. “We kept telling them, “You have to go.’ I just wanted them to stop. They just kept kicking him and slamming him with that helmet. He never even bothered to fight back.”
Police called in off-duty officers to assist in the investigation, part of which involved cordoning off the sidewalk on the east side of the block and taking aerial photos from a fire department ladder truck. Colorado Bureau of Investigation officers also were on scene collecting evidence.
Breckenridge Police investigators are looking for the helmet, described as a heavy, metal, Army-issue helmet. Anyone with information about the assault or the whereabouts of the helmet are asked to call Breckenridge Police Detective Susan Quesada at (970) 453-2941.
Additionally, police are looking for people who might have taken photos along Main Street that night. Police said the odds of someone taking photos are higher that night than other nights because people were dressed in Halloween costumes.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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