Ex-Sheriff Maketa headed for trial
Judge refuses to toss criminal charges in 3 cases.
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.