Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

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Associated Press Updated: February 26, 2015 at 5:00 am
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COLORADO SHOOTING

Judge in theater shooting case will allow holding-cell video

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The judge overseeing the Colorado theater shooting case says jurors can see a video of defendant James Holmes in a holding cell that was recorded two months after the attack.

Judge Carlos A. Samour's order Monday came over objections from defense attorneys who said the video should be excluded from evidence because prosecutors shared it too late. The 11-minute video shows Holmes in a cell at the courthouse on Sept. 20, 2012, but its significance hasn't been disclosed.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012, shooting.

Jury selection is ongoing, and opening statements could happen in April or May.

Samour says attorneys will have time to study the video during a possible week-long break during jury selection.

RED LIGHT CAMERAS

Red-light camera ban up for another test in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers are talking again about banning red-light cameras and speed cameras, and the question of banning them is as divisive as ever.

The ban passed through the House Transportation & Energy Committee Wednesday on a vote of 8-5. But the bill now heads to the committee that killed a similar ban last year.

Red-light camera bans have become perennial lively debates in Colorado's Statehouse. Lawmakers from both parties support and oppose banning the cameras.

In Colorado, 12 cities use the traffic-enforcement cameras. Police agencies and pedestrian advocates insist the cameras improve public safety.

COLORADO WEATHER

Powerful storm hits Colorado's Front Range during rush hour

(Information in the following story is from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com)

DENVER (AP) — Commuters along Colorado's Front Range were met with slick and snowy roads during rush hour as a strong winter storm pushed its way across the state.

The snow started in downtown Denver at about noon Wednesday and was falling at a rate of about an inch per hour by 3:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. The Denver Post reports some areas of northeastern Colorado could see up to a foot of new snow before the storm pushes out.

About 75 flights were canceled at Denver International Airport on Wednesday, most of which were regional flights on smaller aircraft, and airport officials say arriving flights are delayed by about an hour.

Interstate 70 west of Denver near Idaho Springs was closed in both directions because of multiple accidents.

BODY FOUND

Danish man's body found in SUV that crashed down ravine

(Information in the following story is from: Cortez Journal, http://www.cortezjournal.com/)

CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of a Danish man from a vehicle that crashed down a steep ravine near Ouray in southwestern Colorado.

The Ouray County Sheriff's Office says 26-year-old Jin Benny Junge was reported missing Feb. 4. His body was found in an SUV on Feb. 18 about 400 feet below the roadway, which winds through Red Mountain Pass.

The Cortez Journal reports Junge had been visiting the United States with friends but decided to stay when they returned.

ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY-BEATING

Alzheimer's patient accused in killing may never see trial

DENVER (AP) — The case of an 87-year-old Alzheimer's patient accused in the deadly beating of a fellow assisted living resident highlights the challenges of prosecuting someone with the unpredictable mental disease, experts and lawmakers say.

Homer Castor may never stand trial if doctors determine his dementia makes him unable to aid in his own defense, opening the prospect that he might stay in a state mental hospital indefinitely. He faces a homicide charge in the death of 76-year-old Gerald Propp.

Colorado law calls for defendants found in a mental health examination to be incapable of standing trial to be treated until they are able to assist in their own defense. If it is determined that a defendant will never be capable of being tried, a judge could order him or her released. Defendants in similar situations have not been convicted.

HOME EXPLOSION

Man gets 6 months in jail for hash oil explosion in Carr

(Information in the following story is from: The Tribune of Greeley, Co, http://greeleytribune.com)

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — The second of three suspects charged in connection with a house explosion in Carr caused by the production of hash oil has been sentenced to six months in jail.

The Greeley Tribune reports 29-year-old Levi Allen was sentenced Tuesday on a charge of felony child abuse. A 7-year-old boy was in the house when Allen and 29-year-old co-defendant Clayton Smith caused the explosion.

Allen and Smith were taken to a hospital with severe burns on their hands and arms after the Aug. 11, 2013, explosion, which also left the boy with minor injuries.

Another co-defendant, Lavonne Bessler, was convicted of processing or manufacturing marijuana or marijuana concentrate. She was not home when the blast occurred, but prosecutors say she allowed the men to manufacture hash oil on her property.

FATAL SHOOTING-PUEBLO

Man gets life in prison for fatal shooting in Pueblo

(Information in the following story is from: The Pueblo Chieftain, http://www.chieftain.com)

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — A jury in Pueblo has convicted a 25-year-old man of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his mother's boyfriend.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports Cory Martinez was convicted Tuesday and immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Jan. 26, 2014, death of 38-year-old Robert Gonzales.

Martinez was accused of shooting Gonzales, who was dating Martinez's mother, five times in front of her Pueblo home following an argument.

Martinez and Gonzales' family did not make any statements during the sentencing.

DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT-SALE

Sale of Durango Mountain Resort in SW Colorado finalized

(Information in the following story is from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com)

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — A local resident and businessman has finalized his purchase of Durango Mountain Resort in southwestern Colorado and says he is changing the name to Purgatory Resort — a nod to the ski area's historical name.

The Durango Herald reports James Coleman closed the deal with a group of longtime owners Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Coleman also owns Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort south of Taos, New Mexico, and is in the process of acquiring Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Skiers will be able to buy a season pass to all of Coleman's ski areas beginning next month.

He reached a purchase agreement for Durango Mountain Resort in October.

URBAN TREES-DISEASE

State says ash tree-killing insect still limited to Boulder

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado State Forest Service says an insect that kills ash trees hasn't spread outside the city of Boulder, but a disease that attacks black walnut trees is advancing.

In its annual forest health report released Wednesday, the agency said the emerald ash borer is spreading within Boulder, but monitoring conducted last year didn't find the insect in other towns.

Areas where monitoring was conducted include metro Denver, Erie, Golden, Greeley, Lone Tree and Longmont.

The Forest Service said thousand cankers disease was found in black walnut trees in cities from Fort Collins to Canon City. It was also detected in Fort Morgan, farther east than previous locations in the state.

The walnut twig beetle, which carries the disease, was found in Kiowa County near the Kansas border.

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