Silverthorne Police sergeant’s defense asks to see ‘exculpatory’ documents in domestic abuse case
After a couple delays to review investigative materials, a Silverthorne Police Department sergeant facing numerous criminal charges related to domestic abuse had his first hearing Wednesday. The next court appearance will be Aug. 2.
Sergeant Joel Ponedel appeared in court Wednesday with attorney Ryan Brackley to again request documents from Silverthorne Police Department’s internal affairs investigation. Brackley said he believes some of the documents — including messages between Ponedel and the victim — could be exculpatory, which may help clear him from fault.
“I’m an optimist by trade,” he said, believing the documents could prove Ponedel’s innocence.
“Well, there’s a lot them, I’ll tell you that,” Judge Cynthia Jones said.
The report has more than 50 attachments.
Brackley said he only subpoenaed the personnel file section of the report and was not asking for everything. Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Potts requested two weeks to review Brackley’s request. In return, Brackley will have until June 29 to respond to Potts’ review.
Brackley agreed to the Aug. 2 appearance, so long as he and Ponedel have access to the requested elements of the internal affairs report. Jones said she expected Brackley’s request to be granted.
The last time both parties appeared for a hearing, it was the day after Silverthorne Police Department saw its internal affairs report. The hearing was postponed to give the attorneys from the defense and 5th Judicial District to review it. It was not finalized at the time, and since then the defense still has not had a chance to view it.
Brackley was confident then that text messages would demonstrate Ponedel’s innocence. His confidence continued Wednesday, and he reaffirmed claims of their exculpatory nature. He said he and Ponedel were already aware of many of the requested documents, since they were the ones to provide them.
In February, Ponedel was arrested on charges of stalking, wiretapping, third-degree assault and harassment related to a reported domestic violence incident, according to a news release from the 5th Judicial District. Ponedel was also charged with noninjury child abuse.
He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation.
Also at the hearing, Ponedel’s wife requested the court change existing protection order for her family’s convenience. The court granted her modification.
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