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December 10, 2009
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No charges filed in Pear Park shooting death

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A Pear Park man who shot and killed a woman after she allegedly confronted him at his residence last month will not be charged in connection with the incident, authorities said Thursday.

The man, identified as Tom Jarvis, shot Crystal Nash nine times at the door of his home in the 3000 block of Rood Avenue. The incident happened during the early morning hours of Nov. 1.

Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said that his review of the situation led him to conclude there was "absolutely no likelihood of disproving self defense."

Hautzinger said an investigation revealed the incident was rooted in a "rather loud and raucous party" that took place at the residence of Nash, 42, who lived across the street from Jarvis.

He made his remarks in a Dec. 10 letter to Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey.

Hautzinger said there was a report of a potential domestic violence incident at the party. Two Mesa County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the Nash residence, located in the 400 block of Colorow Drive, about 1:17 a.m. Nov. 1.

The deputies were apparently unable to contact the people allegedly involved with the dispute. Other people at the party also told the deputies that the homeowner, Nash, was asleep in bed at the time.

"This assertion proved to be untrue," Hautzinger said.

While at the location the deputies also spoke with Jarvis, who happened to be standing outside his home and "in plain view of all the persons" of the Nash residence.

Deputies ultimately left the scene after determining they did not have enough evidence that a crime had taken place.

A short while later, Nash, became "very angry," Hautzinger said, assuming that Jarvis must have called authorities.

"She decided to go across the street and confront Mr. Jarvis," he said. "In doing so she was carrying a Ruger 9mm handgun."

Two men, who were apparently trying to "dissuade her," pursued Nash, he said. Jarvis saw she was coming. At some point Nash pounded on his door. When Jarvis opened the door he "saw that she had a gun in her hands."

Jarvis grabbed a Walther .22-caliber handgun that he had "on a table next to the door," the district attorney said.

Nash was yelling obscenities at Jarvis, and accused him of calling authorities. Jarvis then asked Nash if she had a gun, to which the woman said she did, and that she was going to use the weapon.

"Mr. Jarvis was holding his .22 gun behind his back. He told Ms. Nash to put her gun down. Ms. Nash responded with another obscenity and brought her gun up across her body toward Mr. Jarvis," Hautzinger said. "At that point Mr. Jarvis pulled his gun from behind his back and shot Ms. Nash."

Hautzinger said the gun had nine rounds in the clip and Jarvis "fired all of them." Nash died as a result of her injuries. A toxicological examination later determined she had a blood alcohol level of 0.184 percent.

Jarvis told investigators that as Nash raised her weapon he thought he was going to die, the district attorney said. The Ruger 9mm was recovered near her body, which deputies found in the driveway of the Jarvis residence.

One other man was injured in the shooting. He was treated at a local hospital and later released.

Hautzinger said the state's "Make My Day" law was not in play because that required a person to make an unlawful entry into a dwelling.

"My analysis is thus based on classic self defense law," he said.

Hautzinger, who extended his condolences to the Nash Family, also said by declining to file criminal charges he did not "intend to condone or endorse anything that happened; I certainly believe that neighborhood disputes are usually better resolved without firearms being involved."

He concluded the letter by saying: "Under the totality of the circumstances present here, however, I cannot in good conscience file any sort of criminal charges."

Reach Wyatt Haupt Jr. at whaupt@gjfreepress.com.

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The Post Independent Updated Dec 11, 2009 08:00PM Published Dec 10, 2009 11:08PM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.