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Ex-sheriff Maketa headed back to trial in October

By: The Gazette
July 17, 2017 Updated: July 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm
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photo - Ex-El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa leaves the courtroom with his defense team after being acquitted on three of seven charges after a jury hangs on the remaining charges Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in the 4th Judicial District Court inside the Terry R. Harris Judicial Building in Colorado Springs, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Ex-El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa leaves the courtroom with his defense team after being acquitted on three of seven charges after a jury hangs on the remaining charges Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in the 4th Judicial District Court inside the Terry R. Harris Judicial Building in Colorado Springs, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

Ex-El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa is headed for another trial to face the four corruption-related charges that deadlocked a previous jury.

The re-trial of Maketa was set for Oct. 3 during a conference call Monday morning overseen by 4th Judicial District Judge Larry E. Schwartz.

The move came as gubernatorial candidate and 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler faced a dilemma: Retry Maketa and possibly alienate El Paso County’s Republican base, or risk facing accusations of letting the once-popular lawman skate on sweeping corruption charges, a longtime political observer said.

Brauchler and prosecutors handling the case declined to comment through a spokeswoman after the hearing, citing an ongoing gag order in the case.

Last week, Maketa was acquitted on three charges and had a deadlocked jury on his four other counts.
Among the remaining counts are two extortion charges alleging that Maketa threated to yank a $5-million-per-year healthcare contract unless the contractor fired a woman who had crossed him politically.

He also faces two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct.

How the previous Maketa jury split is so far a mystery, because panelists declined to address reporters and attorneys after delivering verdicts.

Check back at gazette.com for more information as the story develops.

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