Accused Vail shooter trial looms
EAGLE, Colorado – With a Feb. 7 trial date looming, prosecutors in the case against Richard “Rossi” Moreau could be crunched for time once they see expert witness reports that defense attorneys claim are in the mail.
The reports, which District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has said are assumed to be mental health expert reports, have caused the delay of the pre-trial hearing twice, with the second delay happening Wednesday afternoon.
Moreau is accused of shooting Gary Kitching and three others on Nov. 7, 2009, at the Sandbar in West Vail. Most of the incident was caught on video from the Sandbar’s surveillance system.
Kitching, 70, of Carbondale, died from his injuries, which included gunshots to the chest, left thigh and arm. His wife, Lani, was hiding behind a couch about 10 feet away when her husband was shot. The couple had stopped at the Sandbar on their way back to Carbondale to watch a football game.
Public Defender Dana Christiansen told Judge R. Thomas Moorhead that the reports, which defense attorneys have been waiting on since the summer, are in the mail and should be available for the prosecution’s review by late next week.
Assistant District Attorney Steve Mallory said the prosecution is “just trying to react as quickly as we can.”
“I’m sure there will be something the state needs to do at that point [once the reports are received],” Mallory said. “But until we have the reports, it’s hard to say what that will be.”
Moorhead said since the court’s role in the pre-trial hearing is to help facilitate any additional discovery in the case, the pre-trial hearing should once again be postponed until the expert reports are available.
Hurlbert decided in March not to seek the death penalty against Moreau, citing a lack of “reasonable probability” that the death penalty could be secured.
The new pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 20.
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