Colorado Supreme Court denies Siriano’s Rule 21 petition
The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday, Feb. 4, denied Gordon “Scott” Siriano’s petition for relief under Colorado Appellate Rule 21.
Siriano currently faces a total of 10 charges in Summit County District Court, including two counts of stalking, a Class 4 felony; one count of violation of bail bond conditions, a Class 6 felony; and seven counts of violation of a protection order, a misdemeanor.
Siriano originally was facing 20 felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from three separate cases filed between September 2012 and February 2013 in Summit and Eagle counties. Given the similarity of the charges and the fact that they were allegedly perpetrated against the same victim, the court granted a motion to consolidate all three cases into one prior to trial.
That trial, scheduled for eight days, began Monday, Feb. 3, but ended a day later in a mistrial because a juror could not proceed. The court made the decision Monday not to appoint an alternate juror.
Mark Franklin, deputy district attorney for the 5th Judicial District, is prosecuting Siriano and decided not to pursue half of the charges because the offenses allegedly were perpetrated against members of the victim’s family, who were included in a September 2012 protection order. Those witnesses live out of state and could not travel to Summit County to testify in court, Franklin said Thursday.
However, because Siriano’s trial ended this week prematurely he will have to be tried again. Franklin said the charges he elected not to pursue this week were not vacated by the district court and could be pursued when Siriano’s trial is rescheduled.
That reality likely motivated Siriano’s attorney, public defender Dale McPhetres, to file the Rule 21 petition following Tuesday’s mistrial.
In the petition, McPhetres asked the Supreme Court to vacate several of the original charges, namely the counts referencing violation of bail bond conditions and violation of a protection order, stemming from the February 2013 case in Summit County. McPhetres argued those charges were based on hearsay.
According to the Rule 21 petition, following Siriano’s arrest in September 2012 on suspicion of stalking charges, the court approved a protection order for the victim and her family. In the days leading up to his third arrest in February 2013, Siriano allegedly initiated contact by phone, text or email with the victim, her daughter, the victim’s ex-husband and his current wife.
The alleged incidents resulted in three of the four original counts of violation of bail bond conditions and several of the 14 original counts of violation of a protection order filed by the district attorney’s office.
However, because the witnesses to those offenses live out of state they were unable to travel to Colorado to testify during a pretrial hearing in Summit County. Sgt. Misty Higby, of the Silverthorne Police Department, did testify during the pretrial hearing, but most of her testimony was based on police reports conducted by other officers.
Although Summit County Judge Edward Casias agreed with the defense that many of the charges could not be bound over to district court because the alleged offenses could not be corroborated by witnesses, he did bind over charges relating to Siriano’s contact with the victim’s ex-husband and his current wife because the police reports cited specific dates on which those offenses allegedly occurred.
Those charges, as well as the charges not pursued this week by the district attorney’s office, are fair game when Siriano is next tried now that the Colorado Supreme Court has denied the Rule 21 petition.
A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13, to reset Siriano’s trial. The district attorney’s office expects the trial to be scheduled for sometime in the spring.
Franklin did not say whether or not he plans to pursue the charges shelved this week when he gets another chance to prosecute Siriano.
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