Updated: February 28, 2012 at 12:00 am
Red-faced and shouting obscenities, a Calhan man didn’t mince words — he wanted uninvited guests off his property.
Whether David “Dean” Goss’s independent streak led him to attack a sheriff’s deputy is the question before a jury in Colorado Springs.
Goss, 55, was shot in the abdomen by El Paso County sheriff’s deputy Jeffery Schulz during a June 16 encounter in Goss’s driveway — with prosecutors alleging Goss grabbed the deputy’s gun. Goss is on trial for menacing, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and obstructing justice.
The defense, meanwhile, says there was no struggle, at least not as Schulz described. They accuse the deputy of changing his story to conceal a botched shooting and questioned why Schulz didn’t leave sooner.
The shooting was reported about 7 p.m. in the 24000 block of Falcon Highway, about 20 miles east of Colorado Springs.
Goss was treated for his wounds in Colorado Springs and arrested upon his release from the hospital a few days afterward. He is free on bond.
According to testimony, Schulz, a 12-year deputy, drove onto Goss’s property about 7:30 p.m. that night to investigate a complaint from a group of people who said Goss swore at them when they went onto his property by mistake.
After arriving, Schulz said Goss, still in his pickup, screamed at the deputy to get off his property, using the “F-word” and referring to him as a “pig.”
Schulz told the jury Tuesday that as he began to return to his car, Goss got out of his pickup and advanced on him from behind, leading him to wheel around and shoot Goss with a Taser, a stun gun.
Schulz described a life-and-death struggle in which Goss ended up on the deputy’s chest and beat him with his own radio as he repeated in a frenzy, “I’m going to (expletive) kill you.”
Schulz, who repeatedly grew emotional during his testimony, said that he and Goss fought for control of the weapon, leading the deputy to fire three rounds while lying on his back, hitting Goss in the gut.
Defense attorney Geoffrey Heim pressed Schulz to account for discrepancies between his testimony and what he told investigators after the incident, such as why Schulz didn’t mention getting hit with the radio, or that Goss made death threats.
“It was a chaotic, very difficult situation,” Schulz said at one point. “So if I don’t remember something that’s normal and typical.”
Heim showed jurors a series of photos that show dust on Schulz’s left leg and left boot but no sign of dirt on his back. Prosecutor Tanya Karimi in her opening statement said the pictures only prove that Schulz was mistaken about how he hit the ground and suggested the deputy was actually on his left side. Schulz, however, testified that Goss was kneeling on his chest while assaulting him.
Defense attorneys also say Schulz fired a round that hit Goss’s wife’s truck as she drove out to investigate.
After the shooting, Schulz paced the road in a panic and pointed his weapon at Goss’s wife and others who arrived to see what was happening, Heim said.
“I can’t believe this happened over a stupid trespass issue,” Schulz said, according to Heim. “This is so dumb.”
Defense attorneys say Goss was on alert for trespassers because of a series of thefts targeting his commercial sprinkler system. His confrontation with the unwitting trespassers who complained about his language didn’t involve weapons and didn’t get physical, according to testimony.
The trial, which started Monday, will resume Wednesday morning.
Contact Lance Benzel: 636-0366 Twitter @lancebenzel
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