Alleged shooting accomplices plead not guilty in court in Glenwood Springs

Pete FowlerPost Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Two more accused of being accomplices in the shooting of a Colorado State Patrol trooper pleaded not guilty last week.Police believe Steven Appl shot CSP Trooper Brian Koch during a traffic stop near Silt in October 2006. Koch survived due to a bulletproof vest but suffered serious injuries. Appl later shot himself to death at a police checkpoint and three people suspected of aiding Appl were arrested after the incident.Nichole Denise Brownell, 40, and Wayne Daniel Hangs, 45, entered not guilty pleas in 9th Judicial District Court Friday. Hangs was charged with being an accessory to a crime and tampering with evidence. Brownell was charged with the same crimes plus marijuana charges.Cori Elizabeth Graham, 28, also charged in connection with the case, previously pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence, obstructing a peace officer and two counts of being an accessory to a crime.Each has retained a different private attorney and all three have trials scheduled in 2008. Graham’s trial is set for March while the other two are scheduled in May.Police believe Appl was hiding in Hangs’ Silt-area home, and that Brownell, who also lived there, took Graham to the home and asked her to drive Appl to Silt in hopes of helping him escape. An arrest affidavit says Appl at one point buried himself in the yard, successfully avoiding being discovered by a SWAT team.Graham is suspected of trying to help Appl by driving him, although her attorney, Walt Brown, said previously that she drove the car because Appl was armed and she was afraid of him.A message for Koch left with the CSP wasn’t immediately returned, and Capt. Rich Duran said the CSP didn’t wish to comment on the court proceedings.Contact Pete Fowler:

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.