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Associated Press Updated: December 11, 2014 at 5:00 am


Judge won't delay Colorado theater shooting trial

DENVER (AP) — The judge overseeing the Colorado theater shooting case is refusing to delay the trial despite defense attorneys' request for more time.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said in an order Wednesday that James Holmes' attorneys have had enough time to review massive amounts of evidence in the case. Samour says any further delay would violate a law intended to protect crime victims.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack at a Denver-area theater. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes' defense team says their work has been complicated by medical emergencies involving an attorney and an investigator in their office. But Samour says the circumstances do not justify another delay.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Jan. 20.


Denver deputy suspended for stunning mentally ill inmate

(Information in the following story is from: The Denver Post,

DENVER (AP) — A Denver sheriff's deputy is suspended for shocking a mentally ill inmate with a stun gun to force her to board a bus.

The Denver Post reports Sgt. Stephen Shelton will begin a 26-day suspension next month for using a Taser on the woman during a Nov. 27, 2013 encounter at the county jail.

Authorities say the handcuffed woman resisted deputies' efforts to get her onto a bus headed to court. Officials say Shelton pressed the Taser directly onto the woman's body to deliver a painful shock. Fellow deputies said they had planned to use other methods to get her to comply.

The suspension comes as the department makes sweeping reforms after a spate of excessive force complaints. A July memo says deputies can't use Tasers to force compliance through pain.


Colorado's high court hears school voucher case

DENVER (AP) — The question of the separation of church and state came before Colorado's Supreme Court with arguments about a school voucher program that provides money for students to attend private schools, including religious ones.

Opponents of the program in Douglas County told justices Wednesday that the vouchers violate state constitutional provisions barring the use of taxpayer money to fund religious schools.

Supporters of the program told justices the vouchers simply provide parents a choice of where to send their children to school. They say the program does not harm other students, and that it doesn't take away funding from school districts like opponents argue.

The Colorado Supreme Court will issue a ruling later.

A lower appeals court upheld the Choice Scholarship Program last year. The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado and other groups appealed.


3 people found dead in suburban Denver home

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say three people found dead inside a suburban Denver home were fatally shot.

The bodies were found Wednesday morning in Adams County after a distraught woman called 911 to report a disturbance in the home before hanging up.

Cmdr. Terrance O'Neill of the Adams County Sheriff's Office says investigators meticulously searched the house for much of the day. He says authorities do not know the victims' ages, and he wouldn't say anything else about their identities.

Deputies are looking for a man who was seen leaving the modest, single-level residence in the Westminster area.

Outside the home later Wednesday, investigators had placed at least a dozen markers typically used to flag evidence, such as bullet casings, in the driveway and street.


Judge won't dismiss fatal motel beating case

(Information in the following story is from: Summit Daily News,

FRISCO, Colo. (AP) — A judge has denied a motion to dismiss the case against a man charged in a fatal beating at a Frisco motel.

The Summit Daily News reports 42-year-old Charles Lee Sattler, of Oxford, Michigan, wanted his case thrown out under Colorado's "Make My Day" law, which allows the use of deadly force when someone illegally enters a dwelling and there's reason to believe that person will commit a crime.

Prosecutors say Sattler, a former amateur boxer, beat 38-year-old Blake Bostic to death during an argument at the Snowshoe Motel on April 14. Sattler's attorneys say their client was acting in self-defense.

But Judge Karen Romeo ruled Monday there is no evidence Bostic unlawfully entered Sattler's room.

Sattler is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault.


Colorado unveils plan to shield water

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper rolled out a first-of-its kind water plan Wednesday, a draft plan to address the state's projected future water shortage.

The draft lays out options for Colorado to keep all the water it can amid water-sharing agreements with six other Colorado River basin states. The draft calls for infrastructure improvements but doesn't go into specifics about how to pay for them.

The draft plan now goes to public comment, with the state Legislature to finalize the plan. Hickenlooper called the draft a "great start."

Nearly 4.6 trillion gallons of water originates in Colorado every year, mostly from snow. Two-thirds of it belongs to users in downstream states.

Colorado is meeting with other basin states this week in Las Vegas.


Flags to be lowered in honor of Colorado airman

DENVER (AP) — Gov. John Hickenlooper has ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff from Thursday through Sunday to honor a 30-year-old Air Force pilot from Colorado who was killed when he crashed his F-16 jet in the Middle East.

Capt. William H. "Will" DuBois, of New Castle, died when he crashed near an unidentified coalition base. He was assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron, which flies out of Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.

Investigators say the jet developed a problem related to maintenance shortly after takeoff.

The U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of U.S. military operations in the Mideast, said the crash did not occur in either Iraq or Syria, where the American-led coalition has been bombing Islamic State extremists.

A memorial service will be held in Rifle on Dec. 14.


Coroner: Inmate died of chronic alcohol abuse

(Information in the following story is from: Daily Camera,

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a 60-year-old inmate who was found unresponsive in his cell at the Boulder County Jail died of chronic alcohol abuse.

Boulder County Coroner Emma Hall released her findings involving Jeffrey Koppe on Wednesday. She says his manner of death was natural.

The Daily Camera reports Koppe was found alone and unresponsive at 8 p.m. on Oct. 5, shortly after a shift change. The Boulder man was being detained at the jail for two days as a result of several failure-to-appear warrants out of Longmont.


Congressman's Native American remark causes outcry

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar's reference to American Indians as "wards of the federal government" has struck a harsh chord with tribal members and legal experts.

The Arizona Republican stunned an audience gathered in Flagstaff last week with the comment that came in a discussion about a land deal that would clear the way for a copper mine.

Phil Stago of the White Mountain Apache Tribe says the phrase is antiquated and ignores advances made in tribes managing their own affairs.

A spokesman for Gosar says that wasn't the intent. He says Gosar has been an advocate for strengthening tribes' relationships with the federal government.

Congress maintains authority over Indian affairs. But the trend has been for tribes to take more control over things like crime, education and health care from the federal government.

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