GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The Feb. 4 trial of Gregory Blurton, who is accused of running a meth lab in Rifle, has been put off for four months while he undergoes a mental health evaluation for a different case.
Blurton, 55, first came to the attention of authorities on May 17, 2012, when he allegedly stormed into the Crossroads Assisted Living Center in Rifle, brandishing a pistol, frightening staff and patients and ranting about being followed and threatened by unidentified assailants.
He reportedly barricaded himself in a patient's room and held police at bay for approximately two hours before surrendering to authorities.
Police subsequently concluded Blurton was high on some drug, probably methamphetamine, when he allegedly charged into Crossroads, according to court documents.
He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges from the nursing home incident, which include burglary, menacing and multiple weapons offenses that could land him in prison for 70 years if he is convicted on all counts.
He was sent to the Colorado Mental Health Instate at Pueblo (CMHIP) late last year to determine whether he was sane when he allegedly committed the Crossroads invasion, and to assess his current mental condition, according to documents in the court files.
A report on his condition originally was due back in the courthouse on Jan. 7.
But a note in the file from the Colorado Department of Human Services, dated Jan. 4, indicated that Blurton has been waiting for a bed to open up at CMHIP. His admission to the facility was delayed to Jan. 14, the letter reported, adding that he is still at the facility.
The date for issuance of a report on his condition is now March 4, according to the state letter.
The meth-lab case arose while Blurton was in jail awaiting court action on the Crossroads incident.
Authorities got an anonymous tip that there was an active meth lab at the home shared by Blurton and his brother, David Blurton, according to court records.
When police went to check out the tip, on May 31, 2012, David Blurton allegedly confirmed that his brother, Gregory, had been running a meth lab in the house.
Police left and later returned with a search warrant. A search of the home and a van in the yard allegedly turned up chemicals suspected to be for making meth as well as for cultivating marijuana. The Feb. 4 trial was to be for the drug charges.
Blurton remains at the Pueblo mental hospital in connection with the Crossroads allegations, however, rendering the Feb. 4 trial date unworkable.
Burton's new trial date on the meth-lab charges is June 3-5, 2013.