D.A. Will Not Seek Death Penalty For Lesyshen
District Attorney Brett Barkey today announced that his office would not be seeking the death penalty against Lisa Lesyshen for the May 29, 2013, killing of her nine-year-old son, Asher Lesyshen-Kirlan. District Attorney Barkey stated, “Our office conducted a thorough evidentiary and legal analysis under Colorado’s death penalty law which requires the comparison of statutory aggravating criteria against available mitigating evidence. As part of our review, we sought input from Asher’s father, Michael Kirlan. We also consulted closely with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the scene and led the investigation. After carefully considering the evidence, the legal analysis, the recommendations of the Routt County Sheriff’s Office and Mr. Kirlan’s desires, I have concluded that seeking the death penalty is not appropriate in this case.” This case is presently set for arraignment on charges of murder in the first degree and child abuse resulting in death before the Routt County District Court. On December 17, 2013, the Court rescheduled the arraignment for February 13, 2014 at 1pm. The location of the arraignment is yet to be determined. The charge against any defendant is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty.
TEACHER TARGETED IN SHOOTING IS FORMER CRAIG TEACHER
The teacher targeted in last week’s shooting at Arapahoe High School is a former Moffat County teacher. Tracy Murphy was the apparent target of 18-year old Karl Pierson, when Pierson walked into the school with a shotgun, a couple of molotov cocktails, and a machete. Murphy, who was Pierson’s debate coach, escaped unharmed, but a 15 year old girl was shot in the head, and remains in critical condition. Pierson died when he turned the shotgun on himself. Murphy taught Social Studies at Craig Middle School from 1989 until 1995, when he took a job in the Denver area. Pictured: Tracy Murphy. Left from a Craig Middle School yearbook. A recent photo is on the right .
FAREWELL PARTY FOR BILODEAU TODAY
A farewell party for Gene Bilodeau will be held in Craig today, and the community is invited. Bilodeau is the Vice President of Administration at Colorado Northwestern Community College, but has taken a position as Executive Director of the University Center in Rapid City South Dakota. He has been an active member of the Craig community for twenty years, also serving as a Craig City Councilman. Today’s farewell party will be held at the college from 5 to 7. Refreshments will be served. RSVP’s are encouraged. You can save your spot by clicking here. Pictured: Gene Bilodeau
STEAMBOAT SALES TAX REPORT RELEASED
The City of Steamboat has published the final October 2013 Sales, Use, and Accommodation Tax Report. Steamboat’s October sales taxes are 5.69% greater than the October 2012 collections. Year-to-date through October the City sales tax is up by more than 6%. The City budgeted for a 5.5% decrease for 2013. The categories of Restaurants, Miscellaneous Retail, Liquor Stores and Lodging all saw increases over October 2012 but there were decreases in sales tax from Utilities and Sporting Goods. All areas except the Mountain area saw increases in tax revenue, most notably the West Steamboat area. Accommodation Tax, which is currently used to fund Haymaker debt payments, had a 4.29% increase in collections when compared to last October.
COLORADO SHERIFFS STILL FIGHTING NEW GUN LAWS
Colorado Sheriffs, and their struggle against new gun laws in Colorado, were featured in an article in the New York Times Sunday. Weld County Sheriff John Cooke, the apparent spokesperson for the group of sheriffs, has been touring the state and demonstrating why the new laws are ineffective. All but seven of Colorado’s sheriffs filed a federal lawsuit in May, challenging the constitutionality of the laws, and some say they won’t be enforcing the laws. Others say the laws will be given extremely low priority. The article notes that there are similar situations in other states like California and New York, where rural sheriff’s are ignoring their states new laws, because they feel it violates their constituents 2nd Amendment rights. The Boulder County Sheriff, says refusal to enforce the laws is itself a violation of the Constitution. However rural sheriff’s have said that if that’s the case, they would rather err on the side of their constituents rights.
LIQUID FLOWING FROM INACTIVE WELL IN DE BEQUE
Water and gas have started flowing from a non-producing well in western Colorado, and state investigators want to know if a drilling procedure a half-mile away is to blame. The well is in De Beque. A spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources says that state oil and gas investigators are trying to determine whether hydraulic fracturing of a nearby horizontal well outside De Beque is responsible. The spokesman says no surface waters have been affected and that fluid at the surface has been captured in a trench and contained in a pit. The well was drilled in 1981. It hasn’t produced for many years. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission is investigating.
STATE LOSES PERSONAL INFO OF STATE EMPLOYEES
The state of Colorado has notified nearly 19,000 current and former employees they have lost some of their sensitive information. A device containing the employees’ names, Social Security numbers and possibly addresses is reportedly missing. The state says there’s no indication the data has been misused or stolen. A state employee apparently lost a USB drive containing the information. The employee lost the drive in late November. Officials initiated a search and when the device could not be found, they began the processing of identifying what information it contained in order to know which current and former employees needed to be notified. Once that happened, the letters went out last week.
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Moffat County goes to Steamboat at 5.
Steamboat plays at Aspen at 6.