State trooper trial continues on day three with more witnesses

By: Taylor Temby, KKCO Newsroom Email
By: Taylor Temby, KKCO Newsroom Email

The prosecution continues presenting their case against a state trooper accused in the shooting death of Jason Kemp, and a Colorado law allowing a homeowner to use force has been brought up several times.

The day started with a bit of a shocker. It was definitely an interesting start to the day. One of the members of the jury was dismissed from the case after she recognized Jason Kemp as a customer from her job at a liquor store. She told the courtroom that the picture of Kemp presented yesterday triggered her memory.

The judge says the jury member did the right thing in coming forward as soon as she recognized him, but the district attorney asked that the juror be removed, afraid she had negative feelings about Kemp.

The main investigator in the case testified trooper Lawyer's gun was sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to make sure it was functioning properly at the time of the shooting, and to ensure it didn't fire on it's own.

In cross examination of the investigator, the defense tried to show that getting a search warrant would have taken too much time, days, or even weeks, and Kemp's blood alcohol content levels would have decreased or Kemp could've gotten away. The investigator said a search warrant should only take a couple hours to get.

There was also an interesting argument during the case. The "Make My Day" law has come up a few times with the D.A. saying if Kemp had felt threatened and had shot Lawyer, he would've been justified in doing so.

Another witness today was Alex White. He was on a ride along with Colorado State Patrol that day-- in Lawyer's car--- and was just 50 to 60 feet away from Jason Kemp's front door when the shooting happened. White said he heard a gunshot, but didn't know where it came from. He saw trooper Lawyer in the doorway of the duplex, alerted the people he saw in the street to take cover, and took cover behind the patrol car.

The day wrapped up with a criminal defense attorney on the stand giving the jury information about the 4th Amendment and the exceptions to that amendment. There was dispute from the defense in letting this witness testify, but the judge made the ultimate decision. Another person from the Colorado State Patrol took the stand after.

The trail is expected to go into next week. There are as many as 20 witnesses that could be called by the prosecution and less than five by the defense.

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  • by Confused Location: Ft. Carson on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:44 PM
    As it relates to 4th Amendment, the State views ones vehicle as an extension of the home. How does this differ from someone being stopped for a busted tail light as probable cause for a subsequent DUI arrest? Given the vehicle is a “castle”, and then shouldn’t the driver be able to roll up the window and demand a search warrant?
  • by Frank on Apr 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM
    Hang that pig out to dry. It's about time these cops realize they are not above the law.
  • by Dana Location: Montrose on Apr 12, 2012 at 08:01 AM
    Sounds like a dirty Cop!!! Hope there is justice for this man.. What happened to cops being level headed i don't know one cop[ that is a good cop!! All of them think they are above the law so hopefully the law takes this POS down.. And I have cops in my family and they are all douchbags one state patrol and one a little city cop..
  • by Retired Law Prof Location: Dallas on Apr 12, 2012 at 02:27 AM
    'Anonymous' you are incorrect so be careful with that belief. Police don't always need a warrant there are many exemptions to that clause. You had better know what they are before acting or you will find yourself in trouble. To the rest, 'SM' is correct it is the jury that decides not the Lawyer, the Judge or former Cop.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM in reply to Retired Law Prof
      We will see if I am correct or not. This will be challenged by someone in the near future I am sure. A badge does not give Police the right to brake laws at a whim. Maybe the arrogant police should follow laws verbatim and not improvise such as what has happened here, with Lawyer murdering an unarmed man after violating the mans 4th amendments right.
      • reply
        by You're wrong already on Apr 12, 2012 at 06:30 PM in reply to're wrong already. There are several exceptions to the search warrant requirement, even in a home. One of them is the exigent circumstance of imminent destruction of evidence. This is the one the troopers were relying on when they entered Kemp's residence. Unfortunately they were apparently not aware of Colorado case law that has established that for this level of crime (misdemeanor) there is insufficient cause to allow warrantless entry on that basis alone. It's a little more complicated than that but that's the basis. At the end of the day it's not some horrendous, criminal actions on the part of the troopers, but a devastating and tragic situation brought about in part by the Troopers' lack of training in an area of law which is intensely complicated and often the subject of a lot of "back and forth" in appeal courts.
  • by SM Location: GJ on Apr 11, 2012 at 09:02 PM
    The jury will make the decision not the judge or lawyers
  • by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 08:38 PM
    I like the fact that if a cop is braking in without a warrant we can use deadly force against them. If they have legal warrant then they have a right to enter.
  • by Praying on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:36 PM
    I'm just praying for justice.
  • by Fickchick1956 Location: orchard mesa on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:03 PM
    Murder in Mesa county, the judge will be ex/police, ex/FBI and the cop will walk!
    • reply
      by For the Record on Apr 11, 2012 at 07:31 PM in reply to Fickchick1956
      The Judge started as a Lawyer and is now a Judge. Never has been a cop/fbi/deputy etc. WHAT AN IDIOT!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 12, 2012 at 01:04 AM in reply to Fickchick1956
      Hey moron, did it ever occur to you that cops investigated this case, which resulted in charges against the trooper. Not passing an opinion on guilt or not, but if you hate the cops, who do you hate more, the cops who investigated this and therefore got the trooper charged, or the troopers themselves? Or do you just have the attitude that you hate all cops and just......well, you hate all cops?
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