Tim Watkins’ last ride: Unresolved murder of Palmer Lake mountain biking icon leaves community deeply unsettled
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In this Sept. 27, 2017 booking photo released by El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Daniel Nations is seen. Indiana investigators are looking into whether Nations, the man arrested for allegedly threatening people along a Colorado hiking trail could be a suspect in the February killings of two Indiana girls who were hiking.

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Plea negotiations are ongoing for Daniel J. Nations, a drifter who drew police scrutiny - but no criminal charges - after three killings in two states.

Nations, 32, appears on course to accept a plea bargain that would resolve allegations he committed menacing and trespassing on Mount Herman in the days before Palmer Lake mountain biker Timothy Watkins was found slain on a mountain trail in September. Authorities have not alleged that Nations was involved in that crime.

Attorneys confirmed the plea talks Wednesday at a brief court appearance by Nations. The defendant is due to return to court at 10 a.m. Friday, at which time a deal could be announced, according to discussions in court. The judge overseeing the case suggested the hearing could again be postponed due to scheduling difficulties, however.

Nations drew notice across the country when Indiana State Police confirmed they were evaluating whether he could be the man seen on footage recovered as part of an investigation into the killings of two teen girls in Delphi, Ind., last April.

Indiana authorities later announced they could not tie him to the crimes, and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office didn't return a recent message asking for an update on the Watkins investigation.

Nations was living in the Mount Herman area with his wife and children at the time of his arrest.

The family moved to the area from Indiana last summer but were forced to live out of a car when Nations couldn't find work, his estranged wife told The Gazette. She said she doesn't believe he is guilty of killing anyone.



I cover legal affairs for The Gazette, with an emphasis on the criminal courts. Tips to lance.benzel@gazette.com