Silverthorne police sergeant’s court hearing gets postponed
An internal affairs investigation has been wrapped up and attorneys want additional time to review the report
The disposition hearing for a Silverthorne Police Department sergeant facing numerous criminal charges related to domestic violence has been postponed to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24
On Feb. 1, Sgt. Joel Victor Ponedel, 37, was arrested on charges of stalking, wiretapping, third-degree assault and harassment related to a reported domestic violence incident, as well as noninjury child abuse.
The charges stem from an allegation of domestic violence in late November 2021. Shortly after the allegations, Silverthorne Police Department Police Chief John Minor requested an internal affairs investigation into Ponedel’s alleged actions.
During what was supposed to be a disposition hearing on Tuesday, April 12, Ponedel’s defense attorney, Ryan Brackley of Denver-based Brackley Law Office, told Clear Creek County Court Judge Cynthia Jones that the results of the internal affairs report, with its more than 50 attachments, had just been presented to the Silverthorne Police Department the day before.
The hearing was subsequently postponed to allow the attorneys from the defense and 5th Judicial District to review the results of the internal affairs report. The Silverthorne Police Department said the report was to be generated by a third-party vendor.
Brackley said the report includes all of the text messages and Facebook messages between Ponedel and the victim.
“The charges are stalking by iPhone and eavesdropping, wiretapping by Facebook,” Brackley said. “We’ve turned over all those messages. My understanding is that there’s going to be a favorable recommendation to the city on behalf of Mr. Ponedel.”
Brackley said he heard this from two Silverthorne government officials and that he was told the information presented in the report was “exculpatory,” which means favorable to the defendant in a criminal case. Therefore he wanted to postpone the disposition hearing to allow for those findings to come to light.
Brackley said he had requested the report but had not yet received it. He said he doesn’t expect to see the report until at least four weeks after the Silverthorne Police Department had a chance to review its findings.
At the hearing, a motion filed by Ponedel’s wife to change the existing protection order was also discussed. The court debated whether or not the motion should be granted.
The motion said that the victim needed to be able to communicate with Ponedel about taxes, legal matters and their son. The current protection order barred Ponedel from contacting, or directly or indirectly communicating with her or any witnesses.
Chief deputy district attorney Stephen Potts said he was “uncomfortable” with giving the couple full contact.
Ponedel’s wife attended the hearing virtually and said she does not plan to move back to Evergreen, where the couple lived. But she said she needed to talk to Ponedel.
Jones ultimately decided that the couple could communicate but only through text and email.
“I’m going to take this probably slower than you’d like, and I understand that, but I do have obligation to protect the child, the safety of the child as well as Mrs. Ponedel in addition to trying to allow for some parenting time and all of that,” Jones said.
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