Attorneys: State Patrol Lost Evidence

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

Only on 11 News... A two–year–old vehicular homicide case is on hold while the Colorado State Patrol tries to search for evidence that was lost.

Mesa County prosecutors and defense attorneys told a Mesa County judge Thursday morning that troopers botched some key evidence they needed for DNA testing.

Both attorneys say justice is at stake. They say how evidence is handled could mean the difference between a conviction or a defendant walking free.

26–year–old Jade Huskey is out on bond but he still doesn't know if he'll go to jail.

Huskey is facing several charges for a February 2006 crash. Investigators say Huskey and Molly Gomez were driving drunk, crashed and both were ejected. It's unclear who was driving and Gomez died. The district attorney's office filed seven charges against Huskey including two counts of vehicular homicide and the case is still pending.

"A number of pieces of evidence seem to have gone missing and nobody knows where they are. The state patrol has them and can't find them," said Gordon Gallagher, Huskey's defense attorney.

Gallagher doesn't agree much with the District Attorney's office but today in court, they agreed that State Patrol botched key evidence in the case.

"If evidence isn't stored appropriately it can jeopardize the whole case," said Gallagher.

II wasn't able to reach Chief Deputy District Attorney Tammy Eret but she told a judge in court that a vial of blood sat in a State Patrol evidence box for several months. Eret told Judge Gurley that blood has dried up and can no longer be tested. She said at least four other items are missing.

Gallagher says this isn't the first time it's happened.

"I was astounded, the same problem, the same agency, and the same type of case as I had five or six years ago."

He says a car bumper and clothing in a 2001 vehicular homicide case against Rhonda Daley went missing and was only found right before the trial. The supreme court threw out the evidence, then later overturned it, but the vehicular homicide charges were dropped in the case.

Trooper Gilbert Mares, a spokesman with the Colorado State Patrol, said he couldn't comment on this case until he does more research. He said he didn't want to speculate on how evidence could be misplaced.

"The only person who collected it is the only person who can answer that," said Trooper Mares.

He did talk briefly about evidence collection policy, "Policy and procedure don't go into depth, it just says it should be stored and documented properly."

However Trooper Mares says the policy doesn't outline specific directions on how exactly to collect evidence.

And while the State Patrol searches for the evidence in the case, Huskey will have to wait, and so will his attorney.

"The judge set the case over, hopefully the evidence will turn up," said Gallagher.

The Huskey case will be back on the docket in May.

The Colorado State Patrol tells me it will be looking into the matter.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Rei Location: Cape Cod on Apr 10, 2008 at 05:56 AM
    Wait... they can extract DNA from Egyptian mummy bones, but 2-month old dried blood is useless?
  • by j Location: idaho on Apr 9, 2008 at 11:52 PM
    I just don't understand this case..."Huskey is facing several charges for a February 2006 crash. Investigators say Huskey and Molly Gomez were driving drunk, crashed and both were ejected. It's unclear who was driving and Gomez died. The district attorney's office filed seven charges against Huskey including two counts of vehicular homicide and the case is still pending." So they don't know who was driving, and now they are charging the surviver with two counts of vehicular homicide when one person died... and they don't even know if the person they are charging was the driver? anyone else lost?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2008 at 08:32 PM
    If they didn't produce it when they were told, he should go free. They shouldn't be given a chance to fabricate new evidence. They know the rules, and in everything they do, should be held to them to the letter.
  • by Jon Location: Yes on Apr 9, 2008 at 07:31 PM
    Local morons (read cops) in my area recently let a multiple murderer get off killing two teenagers because officer D-D-D decided to drive around with blood samples in his patrol car for a few months before trying to log the evidence. DDD's excuse "must have forgotten about it".
  • by Paul Location: Calif. on Apr 9, 2008 at 04:16 PM
    "vial" of blood
  • by bill Location: USSA on Apr 9, 2008 at 03:10 PM
    In a free society, this case would have already been dismissed.
  • by Jesse Location: NYC on Apr 9, 2008 at 03:06 PM
    "The only person who collected it is the only person who can answer that," said Trooper Mares. need i say more.
  • by Hank Location: Philadelphia on Apr 9, 2008 at 02:47 PM
    It is is a "vial of blood," not "vile of blood."
  • by Dictionary Location: Washington DC on Apr 9, 2008 at 02:01 PM
    Really? A vile of blood? You sure it isn't a vial?
KKCO NBC 11 News
2531 Blichmann Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81505

Station Phone: 970.243.1111
Business Fax: 970.243.1770
Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793
News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 17279604 - nbc11news.com/a?a=17279604
Gray Television, Inc.