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Wife, grandmother of 'suspect' in Mount Herman hatchet threats speak up

September 26, 2017 Updated: September 28, 2017 at 8:34 am
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Law enforcement has released few details since naming Daniel Nations a "suspect" in the recent Mount Herman hatchet threats. Here's a view of Mount Herman Road where it meets with Nursery Road in northern El Paso County. (The Gazette file)

Daniel Nations' history is hard to track.

Family said they haven't seen him in years, his criminal background spans more than a decade and crosses multiple states, and law enforcement has released few details since naming him a "suspect" in the recent Mount Herman hatchet threats.

Despite the accusation, the 31-year-old's charges also aren't clear.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said Monday that Nations was arrested in Woodland Park on suspicion of an unrelated weapons offense, but no charges have been filed with Teller County courts, records show. A person working in the Teller County jail said Tuesday morning that Nations was "in custody" but had not been arrested or booked into the jail. Hours later, the jail said Nations was in the process of being booked but deferred identifying his charges.

Woodland Park police, at about 3 p.m. Monday, stopped his red Chevrolet Prizm with expired Indiana license plates. A similar vehicle was described to be involved in several menacing complaints in the Monument and Mount Herman areas, where people were threatened with a hatchet, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The release identified Nations as a suspect in the threats, but did not elaborate. It also didn't say whether he is believed to be connected to the shooting death of cyclist Timothy Watkins, who was found dead in the same area days earlier.

Gazette news partner KKTV reported that a gun recovered from Nations' vehicle during the stop matched the caliber used to killed Watkins, but El Paso County spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby said "none of that has been confirmed."

Nations' criminal history would prevent him from legally owning a firearm. He was convicted of domestic battery in the presence of a child, a felony, in Indiana in 2016. He also has a long history of lesser offenses, including a 2015 public indecency conviction in 2007 and a slew of traffic violations, records show. He is a registered sex offender.

Katelyn Nations, who identified herself as Nations' wife, called his arrest upsetting.

"This whole situation is a shock to me and I am so embarrassed," Nations said through Facebook messaging, adding she is not in Colorado Springs. (An arrest affidavit for her husband has since proven that false. Katelyn and two young children were in the vehicle with Nations when Woodland Park police stopped them.)

She later declined to talk further, saying she'd been advised against commenting.

Nations' grandmother, Frona Hamm, 87, said she's the last real family he has outside of his wife and their three children. His mother died and his father is in prison, she said from South Carolina.

Hamm said she raised Nations since he was 6, but she hasn't seen or talked to him in at least five years, after she asked him and his wife to move off of her property. They were gone the next morning, she said.

"I don't know nothing about him," Hamm said. "He hasn't called me or nothing.

"I can't get him out of trouble and even if I could I wouldn't because he knows better," Hamm said.

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Contact Kaitlin Durbin: 636-0362

Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin

Facebook: Kaitlin Durbin

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