Plea bargaining continues in Breck Halloween assault
BRECKENRIDGE – Attorneys have more than two months to work out a plea agreement that will provide the testimony of one man charged in a Breckenridge death against the other two suspects.
Michael Scott Dietert, 21, appeared in District Court in Breckenridge Monday. District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle refused to accept a plea agreement worked about by Dietert’s attorney and District Attorney Mark Hurlbert in the homicide case. The plea agreement reportedly included a stipulated sentence of parole.
Through the deal, Dietert hopes to accept a charge of felony manslaughter in the death of 36-year-old Cody Wieland.
Wieland died nine days after a Halloween night assault on Main Street in Breckenridge. Along with Dietert, Brian Stockdale, 20, and Brandon Robbins, 21, are suspects in the case. Stockdale and Robbins are charged with second-degree murder.
In March, Dietert offered testimony against Stockdale and Robbins in exchange for the plea deal.
Dietert is scheduled to appear again July 28, and Ruckriegle sternly told the attorneys he expects them to either have an acceptable disposition or motions to make.
Referring to the defense attorney, Daniel Recht, Ruckriegle said, “When the statistics go to the Judicial Branch on how long this case takes, I’m going to have to put a big asterisk next to this that says, “Call Mr. Recht.'”
Family and professional conflicts prevented the two attorneys and judge from meeting any sooner.
More delays in the case also are in store. Court officers discovered soon after a Jan. 24 preliminary hearing for Dietert, Robbins and Stockdale that the most important microphone in the courtroom wasn’t turned on. Budget cuts forced the court to lay off stenographers, and the courts have switched to tape recorders. The tape for this proceeding is largely quiet. The six-hour proceeding will have to be repeated.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Fresquez said the repeat hearing should be a re-
enactment of the first, “but you never know.”
Robbins and Stockdale are scheduled to appear in District Court June 2.
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