June 19, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Aspen Daily News "Former defendants in monoxide case oppose grand jury testimony request"

Chad Abraham:
"Two men who once faced felony charges in the carbon monoxide deaths of a Denver family outside Aspen are opposing an effort by relatives of the deceased to get secret grand jury information.

The investigative information was requested on May 18 by relatives of the Lofgren family for use in their civil lawsuit against 10 defendants allegedly involved in the family’s 2008 deaths. The plaintiffs are seeking physical evidence, transcripts of witness testimony and other documents that were used to indict Pitkin County building official Brian Pawl and former city of Aspen inspector Erik Peltonen in 2010.

Criminal charges against the men were dropped last year.

But the release of parts of the year-long grand jury investigation could revive “unwarranted accusations” against them, says the June 1 filing in Pitkin County District Court by Pawl’s attorney. Peltonen’s attorney filed a motion June 4 to join in opposing the release........

........“Although he was indicted by the grand jury, the indictment was deficient on its face,” wrote Pawl’s attorney, Josh Marks of Boulder in the opposition brief.

A critical purpose of grand jury secrecy is to protect “the innocent from disclosure of unwarranted accusations and the embarrassment and exposure that would result from disclosure of the investigatory records ...,” Marks’ filing says. That factor warrants denial of the request to unseal the records, he wrote...."  (Read more?  Click title)

"Unapologetic pursuit and tracking of patterns within news others make since 2010"

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