Judge needs more time to review indictment in trooper involved shooting

By: KKCO Email
By: KKCO Email
More time is needed for a judge to review the findings of a Grand Jury in the case of two Colorado State Patrol Troopers accused in the shooting death of Jason Kemp.

Corporal Kirk Firko

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - More time is needed for a judge to review the findings of a Grand Jury in the case of two Colorado State Patrol Troopers accused in the shooting death of Jason Kemp.

Trooper Ivan Lawyer and Corporal Kirk Firko were both in court Tuesday morning. District Judge Richard Gurley is still reviewing Grand Jury transcripts in the case, so no decisions about moving forward were made Tuesday.

Lawyer is facing six charges, including criminally negligent homicide.

Firko also faces charges, including first degree criminal trespass.

According to court documents, Kemp was shot by Lawyer July 20. Colorado State Patrol had been called out to a hit-and-run accident in the Redlands and went to Kemp's home to investigate.

A Grand Jury indictment says Kemp refused to answer his door so Lawyer eventually kicked it in. Lawyer says he saw Kemp standing in the dark and when Kemp raised his arm like he was holding a gun, Lawyer shot him. Lawyer says he started CPR immediately but was unable to save Kemp.

The Troopers will be back in court at the end of next month.

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  • by chaz Location: grand junction on Mar 12, 2011 at 11:00 AM
    I recall an incident that my wife and I experienced. We almost got hit by an obvious drunk driver who missed her turn, hit the curb, and then turned around and drove home. We called 911 and reported it. We saw her drive to her house, literally stumble in, all the while, we were on our phone to the Sheriffs department. An officer arrived and talked to the lady who was very drunk. She claimed she started drinking when she got home. Case closed, nothing could be done. even with an eye witness, there was no case. Did it suck? Yep! Did the officer make the right call? YES! The burdon of proof was on us, and even though it was wrong,and she was wrong, the system that is in place protected her. Sometimes, it lets us down, but the intent is to protect citizens from an opressive government. I would have some guilty people go free than have innocent people be convicted.
  • by Dave Location: GJ on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:12 PM
    Now I still wonder; what would have happened if he had opened the door.
  • by mike Location: gj on Mar 10, 2011 at 09:10 PM
    There is a reason we have a unit called; "special weapons an tactics", where good decent cops go to classes and train if desired, and chosen. But captain America in all his hot headed "not gonna tell me no" glory decided to draw his pistol and kick the door down by his damn self, with one officer as back up who was no where near. So what some people are making it seem as though he should have just opened the door and obeyed the law, so its his fault. Wow! How can you not be a little troubled that a man was killed by a cop before, any decent amount of backup or negotiations could take place, I'm sure plenty of people have refused to answer police before, but smaller steps were probably taken and eventually subsided. I wish there was less focus on the departments as a whole, and more focus on individual accountability. The only question at this point that should be asked is, did he really have no other choice????
  • by facts Location: whitewater on Mar 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM
    They were not there to cite him for the hit and run. They say in the report they needed to test him for driving under the influence. Typically you can't be arrested for a DUI after the fact. If they were there to cite him for a hit and run, they wouldn't have needed to arrest him and dui-test him. Can I really call and say my neighbor is driving drunk and expect them to be arrested half an hour later while he's sitting in his house? I don't think so.
  • by Bill O'Rights Location: Fruita on Mar 10, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    Supposedly time was of the essence to breathalyze this guy...but he was inside his home and had been home. No results would've stood up in court because whose to say he didn't down a few shots after being inside his house and NOT operating a motor vehicle. This was very unreasonable search and seizure at it's finest.
  • by Anonymous Location: gj on Mar 10, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    i must have said something that would offend the good people in the valley. cause i sure dont see my comment that i posted yesterday, sometimes the truth hurts.
  • by ladida Location: gj on Mar 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM
    I think I'd be a little resistant to someone busting down my door because someone reported to the police I *may* have been drinking and driving. The police had no proof, no evidence and used excessive force. They constitution protects us from unreasonable search and seizure. You can't be arrested for a DUI when sitting in your home and you aren't typically arrested for one unless the police witness you driving erratically - which they didn't. The victim was inside his house and not driving when the police wanted to test him - they didn't have probable cause at all. Trooper Lawyer is pretty full of himself from what I've seen.
  • by law abiding citizen on Mar 10, 2011 at 09:58 AM
    Yes he was at home after he broke the law by leaving a scene of an accident, right? I'm not going to waste my time arguing. It's sad that a man was shot and killed I agree with you on that, but he just had to open the door if he had nothing to hide. My point to all this is that if we just obey the law we wouldn't be talking about this right now.
  • by Anonymous Location: GJ on Mar 10, 2011 at 09:31 AM
    Jim, or Szabla or whatever... It's spelled TROOPER. :)
  • by G.J. Native Location: Home on Mar 10, 2011 at 07:52 AM
    Really! How much time is needed to review the evidence? Doesn't the family deserve closure on this? I don't know all the evidence or circumstances but it seems to me that excessive force was used and the "judge" is trying to find a loophole or some shread of justification for these troopers actions. If it were the other way around and an officer was killed, justice would have already been served.
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