Ex-Sher­iff Maketa headed for trial

Judge re­fuses to toss crim­i­nal charges in 3 cases.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Lance Ben­zel

colorado springs» At­tor­neys for dis­graced exSher­iff Terry Maketa have lost their bid to get charges against him thrown out.

Fourth Ju­di­cial Dis­trict Judge Larry E. Schwartz on Nov. 25 de­nied a claim that Maketa’s May in­dict­ment was “fa­tally flawed” by lack of ev­i­dence and should be voided. The judge also re­jected sim­i­lar re­quests by at­tor­neys for Maketa’s co-de­fen­dants, for­mer Un­der­sh­er­iff Paula Pres­ley and for­mer sher­iff’s Cmdr. Juan “John” San Agustin.

The rul­ings clear the way for their pros­e­cu­tions to con­tinue — po­ten­tially set­ting up what prom­ise to be closely watched tri­als.

In a five-page or­der that ad­dressed all three de­fen­dants, Schwartz said he re­viewed 750 pages of tes­ti­mony recorded over five sep­a­rate days of tes­ti­mony.

That re­view found that pros­e­cu­tors from the 18th Ju­di­cial Dis­trict had met their bur­den of es­tab­lish­ing prob­a­ble cause on all counts against the trio.

“I con­clude that none of the charges should be dis­missed for lack of prob­a­ble cause,” Schwartz wrote.

He ruled also there was no ev­i­dence of pros­e­cu­to­rial mis­con­duct or other grand jury vi­o­la­tions al­leged by at­tor­neys for Pres­ley and San Agustin.

At­tor­neys for all three are due in court Dec. 19 for a hear­ing that’s ex­pected to de­ter­mine the next steps in the case against them. It’s un­known if the de­fen­dants them­selves will be in court. The judge pre­vi­ously said he would en­ter­tain their re­quests to ap­pear by phone. Whether any such re­quest has been made is un­clear.

An El Paso County grand jury handed up in­dict­ments against the trio in May, mark­ing a stun­ning con­clu­sion to more than a year of al­le­ga­tions against Maketa in­volv­ing claims of abuses of power and vin­dic­tive treat­ment of em­ploy­ees.

Maketa, 51, and Pres­ley, 52, each face nine counts, in­clud­ing ex­tor­tion, wit­ness tam­per­ing and false im­pris­on­ment.

San Agustin, 46, is charged with two felonies.

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