Violent Colorado Women — Year 2000

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Stories used here are reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.
If you have, or know of a story about abused men that should be posted here please send it, or a link to comments@ejfi.org.

Stories

Parker policeman put on paid administrative leave after mutual combat

Woman held in arson case after setting boyfriend's, and six other cars on fire

Avon cops accused of abuse by resident

Man released from jail can't go to his own home

Breckenridge woman sentenced to 13 years for plotting to kill husband

Woman advocate for victims of domestic violence charged with DV

Delta woman tries to hire CBI agent to kill her husband

Mutual restraining orders don't stop her from stabbing him, both are arrested

Aurora woman shoots boyfriend in throat

Colorado Springs woman stabs husband in argument

Female Denver DA intoxicated, male homicide detective on desk duty

Wife of Army sergeant uses Net to recruit hit man

Woman stabs 3-year old girl in domestic dispute with child's uncle

Police couple mutually violent in Colorado Springs

Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy arrested for domestic violence

Fight ends in stabbing of husband, wife is arrested


 

Note that this Web site first became operational in November, 1999. Year 2000 was thus the first full year any attempt was made to keep systematic accounts of domestic violence against men in Colorado.

It is not our belief that such violence increased or decreased during 2000, nor that we have captured every published account of domestic violence against in Colorado for this year, or any year. However, published accounts of such incidents may have slightly increased. The number of vignettes below are certainly more numerous than for prior years, probably mainly due to a greater effort to collect such stories.


 

Parker policeman put on paid administrative leave after mutual combat

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The January 14, 2000, Denver Post reports that Parker police officer Richard Mastin, 30, was put on paid leave after an altercation with his wife Melissa, age 33. Apparently the couple had a heated argument after returning from a night out and he told her he wanted a divorce.

According to the Denver Post, he got scratched and she was struck on the arm as they scuffled for the telephone. Both claimed there was no intent to cause injury to the other. We were not aware that argument was an affirmative defense in such cases. Also, as noted above in a 1998 case, a Colorado state wiretapping statute prohibits anyone from preventing or interfering "in any way" with a telephone call. The wiretapping offense is a felony punishable by up to eighteen months in prison.

After conferring with supervisors, deputies decided no crime occurred. It is our understanding that in cases of mutual combat, such as this, the police are supposed to determine the "primary aggressor" (read "arrest the man") and that an arrest is mandatory. However, no arrest was made even though a felony may have occurred. Richard Mastin then agreed to leave the house voluntarily.

When Mastin returned later in the day he found his wife gone and his clothing and truck damaged. Melissa Mastin has been named as a suspect in the case but her whereabouts are reportedly unknown.

We wonder if this is what the feminists mean when they report that violence increases during a separation? And note that the police officer is still drawing his salary. Where does the public interest lie in such cases?


 

Woman held in arson case after setting boyfriend's, and six other cars on fire

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According to the January 26, 2000, Denver Post, a 19-year old Colorado Springs woman has been arrested on suspicion of setting a fire about 12:15 AM on January 23 rd that caused more than $75,000 in damages at a Lakewood apartment complex.

The woman apparently broke windows in her ex-boyfriend's car, then poured gasoline inside, and set it on fire. His car, six nearby vehicles, and the carport were damaged.

Note that as an arson charge, it will not be counted in domestic violence statistics.


 

 

Avon cops accused of abuse by resident

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Neighbors called police when they heard arguing in the apartment of 36-year old Avon resident Scott Freeman, and his girlfriend, Kim Copsidas, who resides with him. According to the February 17, 2000, issue of Speakout! police then forced their way into his apartment.

When Freeman asked the police what they were doing there he was told: "Backup or we'll mace you." Freeman says he couldn't back up any further, as his back was already against a wall. Police then maced him until he couldn't breathe and he began struggling.

Freeman was forcefully restrained, resulting in bruises on his head (as shown), side, knee, and knuckles. After police handcuffed him, they opened his eyes and maced him again.

Freeman said that the police cracked him over the head, used a stick across his hands and knuckles, and gave his kneecap a rug burn when they dragged him across the carpet and threw him down the stairs.

There is no evidence that police had a warrant to enter Freeman's apartment nor that the original complaint was based on anything but hearsay, apparently from a neighbor.

Freeman was arrested and charged with domestic violence, harassment, obstructing an officer, and resisting arrest. County Judge Terri Diem also issued a temporary restraining order against Freeman, which was later removed. Mr. Freeman was required to post $150 bail to get out of jail and pay $150 for an 'evaluator' before the restraining order was removed. The evaluator's main concern seemed to be whether Mr. Freeman had the $150 fee.

When Ms. Copsidas was asked if Freeman deserved to be arrested, she said that they were arguing but didn't see any need for the police to be called at all. Ms. Copsidas also stated that she did not call the police and will testify on Freeman's behalf. In the March 3, 2000, issue of Speakout! it is reported that Ms. Copsidas chastised Avon police, saying in her victim impact statement that: "The only victim here is Scott being roughed up by police."

After being together for 11 years, this incident is apparently leading to the couple's breaking up. Fortunately, they are not reported to have any children.

The editor asks whether is it possible for any man and woman to have an argument anymore without someone going to jail.


 

Man released from jail can't go to his own home

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The Thursday, February 24, 2000, edition of Speakout! carries the story of a man who must pay $150, which he can't afford, for an 'evaluation' before he can return to his own home.

The man's problems started when his girlfriend fell asleep at his home. He arrived late one night, knocked on the door, and nobody answered. Lacking a key, or a better method, he broke a window to gain entry.

With all the racket, the girlfriend woke up and called police, fearing an intruder was breaking in. When the police arrived they arrested the man on a previous warrant. A restraining order for domestic abuse was also issued against him by Judge Terri Diem, though his girlfriend didn't request such an order.

Judge Terri Diem ruled on Tuesday, February 22 nd , that the man could not return to his own home until he and his girlfriend, who appeared on her own volition, pay an evaluator $150. When the girlfriend stated "I didn't press charges. I don't have a problem with him being here. It's his home." Judge Diem stated that "I'm no expert. I don't know if the situation is lethal." The public defender questioned why an evaluation should cost $150. Judge Terri Diem then replied that the one chosen is "cheaper than the rest. Some charge $200 for this service."

The man will thus remain homeless or stay with friends until he and his girlfriend pay the evaluator to okay his return to his own home. The editor comments that with over 22,000 restraining orders written every year in Colorado, it is becoming a cottage industry for the 'evaluators' of the world.


 

Breckenridge woman sentenced to 13 years for plotting to kill husband

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Shari Todd, age 39, was sentenced to thirteen years in prison on May 12, 2000, in Breckenridge on charges of solicitation for first-degree murder and felony menacing. Before trying to hire a hit man, who turned out to be an undercover Summit County deputy, Ms. Todd admitted trying many ways and times to kill her former husband herself.

She tried putting propane tanks under snow on the driveway in hopes they would explode when her ex-husband drove over them. She also planned to inject him with poison. The May 15, 2000, issue of the Denver Post quotes her as saying: "I mean I have thought of everything."

She is said to have been bitter about a custody dispute over their 5-year old son.


 

Woman advocate for victims of domestic violence charged with DV

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Mrs. Autumn Black, an advocate for victims of domestic violence working for the Parker Police Department, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault involving domestic violence on Friday, May 26, 2000, according to the Metro Digest section of the May 28 th edition of the Denver Post.

Her husband, an employee of the Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office called 911 that Friday evening claiming his wife had hit him, apparently during a divorce dispute. He was found to have a bruise on his cheek and scratches on his back.

One wonders how the incident would have been resolved if he had not worked for the sheriff's office?


 

Delta woman tries to hire CBI agent to kill her husband

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Claudia Guitierrez, age 23, was being held in the Delta Colorado county jail Wednesday, June 14, 2000, after she apparently tried to hire an undercover agent of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to kill her husband.

She was arrested on suspicion of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Police stated that Ms. Guitierrez had agreed to pay the CBI agent $3,000 for the killing that was to be made to look like a suicide.

Ms. Guitierrez is said to have given the agent $500 in a paper sack in addition to a note containing her husband's name and where he was staying with his brother.


 

Mutual restraining orders don't stop her from stabbing him, both are arrested

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On Sunday, July 16, 2000, the Colorado State Patrol responded to a call that Ms. Pam Holcomb, age 35, had fallen off the back of a truck near Trinidad along Colorado Highway 12. The driver, Ruben Perea, age 32, of Pueblo, kept driving. He was found later at a convenience store in Walsenberg.

As the story unfolded, the couple had an argument while camping together. Ms. Holcomb apparently then stabbed Mr. Perea and then got into the back of the truck while he drove despite his stab wounds. It was during that trip that she fell out.

Mr. Perea was treated at Huerfano County Medical Center for stab wounds and Ms. Holcomb was treated at Parkview Hospital in Pueblo. There was no report that drugs or alcohol were involved.

Despite their camping trip together, police found both had restraining orders against the other. As a result, both were arrested for violating those orders and for first-degree assault.


 

Aurora woman shoots boyfriend in throat

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According to the July 29, 2000, Denver Post 29-year-old Anthony Deemer was found shot in the throat early Friday morning, July 28th. He later underwent surgery at University Hospital.

His girlfriend, 32-year-old Lucretia McCoy was taken into custody at the scene and is being charged with first-degree assault.


 

Colorado Springs woman stabs husband in argument

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According to the August 23, 2000, edition of The Gazette (Metro p. 2) on Monday, August 21st, 40-year-old Linda Sazma stabbed her husband, 29-year-old Edward Sazma during an argument.

Mrs. Sazma was being held by police on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder.

Her husband was taken to Penrose Main Hospital where he was treated for a stab wound in the left arm.


 

Female Denver DA intoxicated, male homicide detective on desk duty

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According to the September 15, 2000, edition of the Denver Post (Metro, p. 2B) police were called on August 30 th to the Westminster home of Denver deputy district attorney, Ms. Marley Costigan. According to the police report, they received a domestic dispute call and when they arrived at Ms. Costigan's heard a verbal argument in progress between her and her boyfriend, Denver police homicide detective Don Vecchi.

Ms. Costigan is reported to have at first invited the police into her home and then began verbally abusing the officers. The police report also described her as "very intoxicated."

There were no indications of any physical altercation and the argument was apparently limited to verbal exchanges. However, pending the outcome of an investigation, Detective Vecchi has been given desk duties. He may not carry a gun, may not work off duty, and may not make contact with Ms. Costigan.

The article made no mention of any action taken against Ms. Costigan.


 

Wife of Army sergeant uses Net to recruit hit man

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The wife of a Fort Carson soldier was arrested Friday, September 22, 2000, on suspicion of recruiting a hit man on the Internet and plotting a murder-for-hire scheme to get her husband's $200,000 life insurance policy according to a front page, above the fold headline story in the September 23, 2000, edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Deanna Christine Marrs, 32, of Colorado Springs agreed to pay a man she met online half her husband's insurance policy, according to a federal arrest affidavit.

She told authorities she wanted her husband, Sgt. Charles Marrs, killed because of "past infidelities and his continued verbal and mental abuse." (the tried and true "abuse excuse").

Sgt. Marrs was serving in Bosnia at the time but returned home in October.


 

Woman stabs 3-year old girl in domestic dispute with child's uncle

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Of necessity, the following story is pieced together from several newspaper articles like many of the others here. The Saturday, October 14, 2000, Denver Post reported on page 1B that 3-year old Chloe Calhoun was in critical condition after being stabbed by Faith Ei, age 24, during a domestic dispute Faith was having with her common-law husband, Shane Calhoun, age 25, at their residence in Denver around midnight on October 12, 2000.

The stab wound from the knife wielded by Ms. Ei severed the little girl's femoral artery in her right thigh. A person has about 30 seconds to live after that artery is cut if a tourniquet isn't promptly applied. In this case, apparently heroic efforts by her father, Jerett, and his brother, Shane Calhoun, and others managed to save little Chloe's life, although transfusions amounting to five to six times her blood volume were necessary. Even then she was not expected to survive initially.

Little Chloe and her father, Jerett, had gone over that evening to see her uncle, Shane Calhoun, where he lives with Faith Ei. Apparently, during the evening Jerett and his little girl fell asleep together on the couch in the living room.

While they were asleep, Shane and Faith got into one of their reportedly frequent arguments. During the dispute, Faith is said to have gone into the kitchen and gotten a butcher knife. She then returned to the living room and attacked or threatened Shane with it.

In defending himself Shane appears to have hit, pushed, or shoved Faith while she was attacking him with the butcher knife. As a result, Ms. Ei fell, or tripped and fell, on to the couch where little Chloe was sleeping. The child was stabbed with the butcher knife held by Faith during her fall, severing Chloe's femoral artery.

The published accounts seem clear that Faith Ei deliberately retrieved the butcher knife and attacked or threatened Shane Calhoun with it. From the results there is no question this knife was a deadly weapon. Thus, she seems to have perpetrated the deadly assault. Chloe's father, Jerett, is stated to have been asleep on the couch by his little girl, and in no way involved until his child was stabbed by Faith Ei. However, according to the Saturday, October 28, 2000, edition of the Denver Post (Metro, p. 3B) Shane Calhoun was arrested on October 26th. The child's father, Jerett Calhoun, was arrested on October 27th at the hospital where little Chloe was recovering. Both men have been charged with felony child abuse on the basis that they had permitted "...a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury." according to Denver DA Bill Ritter.

The rational is that "Based upon what Jerett knew about this couple's relationship as well as Jerett's action on that day, we believe his conduct runs afoul of the second part of the child abuse statute." according to DA Bill Ritter. And, of course, Shane is guilty of defending himself and thereby causing harm to a child.

Conviction on the felony child abuse charges carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ten (10) years.

No charges were filed against Faith Ei because "It's our belief she was a victim, not a perpetrator." according to Denver DA Bill Ritter (Denver Post, October 28, 2000, p. 3B).


 

Police couple mutually violent in Colorado Springs

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According to the October 21, 2000, Colorado Springs Gazette two police officers married to each other have been mutually ordered to have no contact with each other. No phone calls, no letters, no cards, no voice mail — no contact at all was the order of the county court in issuing restraining orders to Richard Gostnell, 44, and his wife Jerilyn.

As you might guess, the couple are divorcing. They had been married some sixteen years and have two children who are being used as pawns by both parties.

Richard Gostnell has been charged with harassment, third-degree assault involving domestic violence, false imprisonment, and violation of bail bond conditions after an April arrest stemming from an altercation with his wife.

On October 18, 2000, Richard Gostnell was again arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, criminal mischief, child abuse, and harassment after Jerilyn Gostnell called police after an argument with him over their children and unannounced visits to her home.

Conversely, Jerilyn Gostnell faces an assault charge after she apparently stalked and hit Richard's "companion." She also apparently calls her husband and harasses him sometimes as often as four or five times an hour. Hint: Maybe Jerilyn should read the section on perimenopause.

Richard Gostnell, a 19-year veteran of the Colorado Springs police department has been on unpaid leave pending resignation since June 21 st .

His wife, Jerilyn Gostnell, however, is on administrative suspension with pay.


 

Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy arrested for domestic violence

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According to the Oct. 24, 2000, edition of the Denver Post, Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy and his wife, Michele, were arguing about his parents when she dialed 911, but hung up without speaking, early Sunday morning, October 22, 2000.

At 2:23 A.M., Greenwood Village police responded routinely to the hang-up 911 call at the couple's new $1.4 million home in Greenwood Terrace, a Denver suburb. Roy and his wife admitted they had been shouting at each other. Police said they entered the house and saw damage. No mention was made as to whether or not police were invited into the house, and they would not have had, or asked, for a search warrant.

Roy was led from his home in handcuffs about 2:55 A. M. Sunday as police began investigating the domestic violence complaint.

Enraged that she had called authorities, Roy ripped two French doors off their hinges in the master bedroom of the couple's home before they arrived, the police report says. There was apparently no violence before she dialed 911 and there were no reports of injuries. She is reported to have called because she was afraid of her husband.

According to jail officials, Roy, 35, was arrested on suspicion of criminal mischief — destruction of property — and taken to Arapahoe County Jail. Police, however, said he was taken in custody for investigation of domestic violence. By 5 A.M., Roy had posted a $750 bond and was released, according to Arapahoe County Sheriff Lt. Bob Hartman.

In any event it seems an outrageous abuse of police power to take a man forcibly from his home without a warrant at 3 A.M. simply because he damaged some of his own property. Patrick Roy is one the most widely known men in Colorado. It is thus easy to imagine how an ordinary man is treated in similar circumstances.

Roy made his first court appearance Monday, October 23, 2000. He was advised by Arapahoe County Judge Richard Jauch that he faced a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief involving an act of domestic violence. If convicted, he would have faced a maximum of one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. A conviction would also be grounds under Federal law for deportation of Roy, a Canadian citizen.

The allegations followed a Friday night celebration at which Roy, age 35, and his 34 year-old wife, Michele stood before an adoring Pepsi Center crowd, including Governor Owens and the Denver mayor, lauding Roy for setting a National Hockey League record for most career wins.

A restraining order was issued, but it didn't prohibit the 6 foot, 2 inch (1.9 m.), 185-pound (84 kg.) Roy from returning to his wife and their three children. That ignored the provisions of C.R.S. § 18-1-1001 (3)(a) that requires: "An order to vacate or stay away from the home of the victim and to stay away from any other location where the victim is likely to be found." Such orders are routinely issued for lesser known individuals and are thought to be a primary purpose of the domestic violence laws in order to protect the "victim."

However, "Patrick [Roy] is allowed to have as much contact with his wife as he wants," his attorney, Pamela Mackey, said. The order did bar him from possessing a firearm and from consuming alcohol or drugs. It did prohibit him from harassing, molesting, intimidating or retaliating against his wife or any witness in the case.

The notoriety of the defendant in this case resulted in a front-page, above-the-fold call to repeal the domestic violence law, as reported in the October 26, 2000, edition of the Denver Post. Police and prosecutors both questioned the need to keep a 1994 law on the books that mandates arrests in all domestic-violence cases.

"Police should be given a certain amount of discretion," Brighton Police Chief Clint Blackhurst was quoted as saying during a meeting of the Governor's Task Force on Violent Crime. "I don't know of another law like it." The law, the first of its kind in the nation, requires police to make an arrest if officers find evidence of domestic violence. In many cases, mandatory arrest has been shown to increase the level of violence.

Chief Blackhurst, Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant, and other officials stated that the law needs to be re-examined. They said it gives police little or no discretion when investigating 911 calls and it is also clogging county jails and courts with minor cases. Grant is quoted as saying:

"It's trivialized it to some degree when, with minimal acts, we're swatting a butterfly with a sledgehammer. Marginal cases have the potential to become serious cases later and need to be dealt with, but not necessarily with mandatory arrest."

Attorney General Ken Salazar, however, urged the Governor's Task Force on Violent Crime to reject any efforts to repeal the state's mandatory-arrest law in domestic-violence cases. In a letter to the head of the task force, Salazar said the 1994 law has prevented numerous victims from being hurt or killed according to the October 31, 2000, issue of the Denver Post. We know of no good evidence that would substantiate Salazar's claim and many instances where the first contact with police is a murder, or murder-suicide following an arrest or issuance of a restraining order.

The next event in the case at issue, according to the Nov. 7, 2000, Denver Post, was that Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy pled innocent to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge on that date. His attorney stated that Roy had not received a copy of the charge against him as of that date. Judge Jauch set a motions hearing for January 31, 2001, and a trial date of March 5, 2001.

However, Patrick's wife, Michele, who arrived at the Arapahoe County Courthouse holding hands with him, said she disagreed with Judge Jauch's decision to set a March 5, 2001, trial. She is quoted as saying: "This is ridiculous. I cannot believe this case is going forward." Mrs. Roy's statement is in conformance with feminist ideology that women often recant during the "honeymoon" period after a violent incidence. Because women so frequently behave this way, it is argued that must arrest and no drop laws are essential. That is to say that Big Sister knows better than an individual woman what should be done in all such situations.

According to the Associated Press, in late December, 2000, attorneys for Roy filed a motion arguing that a state law used to charge him with domestic violence is unconstitutional. The motion claims that no crime was committed since the damage was in Roy's home and is his own property. Further, they argue the law gives police too much power by requiring them to make an immediate arrest in domestic violence cases. Domestic violence itself is not a crime in Colorado, but it is an aggravating circumstance that is tacked on to other charges. The motion thus argues that the law violates state and federal standards for due process. In part, the motion reads:

"Because (the law) fails to require the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime is one constituting domestic violence but rather permits a mere accusation or finding to control, the statute is unconstitutional."

The motion also charges that police use "standardless discretion" in determining what is domestic violence and that the law violates constitutional separation of powers.

The December 23, 2000, issue of the Denver Post noted that Patrick Roy's domestic-violence case could end up changing Colorado law.

Conversely, domestic violence prevention advocates said they approve of the mandatory arrest law because it requires that an aggressive person be taken out of the house before any abuse may occur. Note that in this case the "abuse" was simply a loud argument until Mrs. Roy called the police.

Victim advocates, parroting feminist ideology, say mandatory arrests save women and children from additional abuse and should be made in all cases of domestic violence, no matter how small they may seem. Their position puts punishment before the trial, or even a hearing.

"We definitely support the mandatory arrest law," said Lynn Rioth, associate director for the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence in Colorado Springs. "We think that it helps protect women and frequently children from further abuse. It used to be when the decision to arrest was left up to the victim, she could face intimidation and retribution from the perpetrator." However, as noted above, Mrs. Roy felt that it was ridiculous for this case to go forward. And we are aware of many cases where the women and children end up more frightened and resentful of the authorities than they ever were of their alleged "abuser" once they are caught up in the unrelenting witch hunt of a domestic violence proceeding. Such a position also ignores the irrefutable findings that most child abuse is perpetrated by a woman, only rarely by the biological father.

Despite all the hoopla surrounding the case, at the motions hearing held on January 31, 2001, the domestic-violence case against Patrick Roy was dropped. Arapahoe County Judge Richard Jauch ruled that criminal mischief could not apply when someone damages his own marital property, according to the February 1, 2001, issue of the Denver Post.

Judge Jauch also ruled that he found no indication of selective prosecution against Roy. But he did note discrepancies within the district attorney's office about how the charge could be applied.

Prosecutor John Topolnicki had argued that criminal mischief is an effective charge in cases involving family fights.

Topolnicki argued during the hearing that the Roy's marital property also belongs to Michele, so the criminal-mischief law applies to damage to property that was also hers. Two deputy district attorneys, however, testified that for years they have routinely dismissed similar criminal-mischief cases in which defendants damaged their own property. Byron Jones, head of the DA's felony complaint department, testified that he has never filed a criminal mischief case like Roy's in his fourteen years on the job.

Roy's defense revealed that Peters also was worried that the charge would not stick. Arapahoe County District Attorney Peters is said to have conveyed his concern to Sheriff Pat Sullivan during a breakfast meeting shortly after Roy's October 22, 2000, arrest. That meeting apparently resulted in an October 24, 2000, Sheriff's Department memo that told patrol officers the DA's office would not accept charges of criminal mischief against someone who damaged his or her own property during a domestic dispute.

The dismissal of the charges against Patrick Roy concerned domestic-violence-prevention advocates.

"I' m certainly disappointed that there weren't sufficient charges that could hold him accountable," said Rita Smith, the executive director of the Denver-based National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). "If criminal mischief wouldn't work, there should have been other charges. Now there's no accountability for what he did and there's no consequences." Smith said her experience is that if there are no consequences, the level of violence in the home typically escalates. In short, the NCADV believes a man is guilty if a woman calls the police, or says he is. And if the initial charges don't stick, then other charges should be invented. That has been their position for years now.

Following the dismissal of the charges against Patrick Roy, the Colorado legislature accommodated the NCADV in the 2002 session and changed the law regarding criminal mischief to make such actions a crime under a bill, HB 02-1237, sponsored by Representative Lynn Hefley and Senator Ken Gordon.

Domestic-violence-prevention advocates say that Colorado's mandatory-arrest law was created specifically to address such escalation. The law requires officers to make an arrest if they find evidence of domestic violence.

"There is no specific charge for domestic violence in Colorado," said Diana Protopapa, public-policy director of the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Instead, domestic violence is a sentence enhancer to other charges. The idea is to get a possible offender out of the house before any more violence occurs according to such victim's advocates as Protopapa.

Under the law, property destruction can be a form of domestic violence. However, arresting a person commonly elevates the level of conflict, as it did in this case, and it has been shown that, where the man is unemployed, the level of violence is increased.

Further, the definitions of violence and abuse are now so broad, as to include virtually any disagreement between two people who happen to know each other. Abuse is defined in Colorado as C.R.S. § 13-14-101(2) "...any act or threatened act of violence that is committed by any person against another person to whom the actor is currently or was formerly related, or with whom the actor is living or has lived in the same domicile, or with whom the actor is involved or has been involved in an intimate relationship. 'Domestic abuse' may also include any act or threatened act of violence against the minor children of either of the parties." Domestic violence C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3 "...also includes any other crime against a person or against property or any municipal ordinance violation against a person or against property, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship."

As noted above, Roy's lawyers had challenged the constitutionality of the mandatory-arrest law in addition to challenging the criminal-mischief charge. But Protopapa said she is confident mandatory arrest is here to stay.

"I think it would take a lot to overturn the mandatory-arrest law," she said. "And there are a lot of us out there working to make sure that doesn't happen." In summary, she believes in punishment first, and a trial later. A radical feminist variation on "Give 'em a quick trial and hang 'em!" One wonders what Protopapa's response would be when faced with mutiny by Avalanche fans had Roy been convicted and deported?

But many people, no doubt including all his fans, were very pleased with the outcome. "We are thrilled," said Roy's attorney, Pamela Mackey. "It was exactly what we hoped for."

District Attorney Jim Peters considered an appeal of the dismissal. However, investigation had shown that Michele Roy was in another part of the house when Patrick damaged the doors. As a result the district attorney's office was of the opinion that it would not be possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was any intimidation, harassment, threats, or retaliation by Mr. Roy. Nothing was mentioned about such actions by the State against Patrick Roy in this case.


 

Fight ends in stabbing of husband, wife is arrested

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According to the December 11, 2000, edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette (p. Metro1) 37-year-old Michelle Rodriguez was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault and domestic violence after stabbing her husband Saturday night, December 9 th .

Authorities said Michelle and Ron Rodriguez, age 27, had left their residence in the Black Forest area about 10:45 P.M. and were driving on Black Forest Road when they began to argue.

According to the police arrest affidavit, Michele Rodriguez hit her husband in the face, pulled over her truck, and he got out and began walking home. She then called him back to the truck and stabbed him in the upper-left chest area with a 4-inch hunting knife.

The two then drove a half-mile to Woodmen and Black Forest roads, where they called 911. Michele Rodriguez was arrested in front of a Black Forest business as medical crews worked on her husband's stab wounds.

Ron Rodriguez was taken to Memorial Hospital. He was discharged Sunday.

She was released from jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

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