JOHN GARDNER
FREE PRESS CORRESPONDENT

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December 12, 2009
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4 felony sexual assault charges dropped against Parachute man

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - After being found guilty of sexual assault and spending close to two years in prison, a former Parachute man is now free.

Michael Keith Lacefield, 41 at the time of his conviction in September 2007, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of sexual contact - no consent, Friday, in Garfield County District Court.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped four felony charges against Lacefield including, one count of sexual assault on a child - pattern of abuse, and three counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, according to a court clerk official.

Ironically, those are the same charges Lacefield was convicted in 2007.

The judge sentenced Lacefield to 22 months, 23 days in jail, but credited Lacefield with time served. That is the same amount of time Lacefield had spent in jail. Lacefield originally received a 12-year prison sentence.

The 2007 conviction was overturned by state court of appeals Judge Sean Connelly who remanded a new trial for Lacefield in June. A report released on the decision stated that Lacefield did not receive a "fair" trial in 2007, and that it was "riddled with error."

The four-day trial was tried by 9th Judicial District Court Judge Denise Lynch, and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney. Glenwood Springs attorney Lawson Wills represented Lacefield in 2007. However, Denver attorney Norman Mueller represented Lacefield in this recent case.

Lacefield posted a $15,000 bond in August, and was released from custody after being locked up for just under two years. He has been living with his parents in Grand Junction since being released.

At the time, 9th Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson called the decision a "tragedy."

Calls seeking comment from both prosecutors and defense attorneys were not returned Friday.


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The Post Independent Updated Dec 12, 2009 12:54PM Published Dec 12, 2009 12:49PM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.