Court delays teen’s hearing
Post Independent Staff
The district attorney’s office has postponed the first hearing of a 14-year-old boy who allegedly shot and killed Taylor DeMarco, 9.
The decision to prosecute Eric Stoneman as an adult or a juvenile has been postponed to Sept. 28. Stoneman, from Battlement Mesa, allegedly shot and killed DeMarco on July 20.
Assistant District Attorney Vince Felletter and public defender Jim Conway met with County Court Judge Paul Metzger Thursday afternoon in the judge’s chambers to consider a motion filed by Conway asking to reschedule the hearing.
Stoneman’s first hearing was set for Wednesday, Aug. 24, in juvenile court. However, the District Attorney’s office is considering charging the boy as an adult. Conway asked for more time to gather information pertinent to the case, which could include medical and psychiatric information.
“These documents and extensive information could be crucial to a considered judgment of the decisions to be made in this case,” the motion, filed Wednesday, read.
Felletter said he did not object to the request and hoped enough information could be brought to the hearing for him to make a decision.
“It’s a big decision, to charge a 14-year-old with murder,” he said. “I’d rather take the time and do it right.”
Felletter also said the court clerk’s office was concerned about adding extra security for the hearing.
Taylor’s father, William DeMarco, lashed out at Stoneman at an advisement hearing in Glenwood Springs District Court on July 21. Deputies had to restrain William DeMarco and escorted him out of the courtroom while Stoneman was hurried out a door at the rear of the courtroom.
Stoneman is being held at the Grand Mesa Youth Detention Center in Grand Junction on suspicion of manslaughter, felony menacing, reckless endangerment, possession of a handgun by a minor, prohibited use of a weapon and resisting arrest.
If the District Attorney’s office decides not to charge him as an adult, he could serve no more than four years in jail, and be released when he turns 18.
On July 20, at about 2:30 p.m., Stoneman allegedly showed up with a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol at a mobile home on East Carson Circle in Battlement Mesa, and allegedly shot Taylor DeMarco in the chest. Stoneman lived in the same Battlement Mesa neighborhood as DeMarco.
Stoneman was enrolled in the Wellspring Treatment School for students with special needs, which is part of Yampah Mountain High School in Glenwood Springs.
Felletter said emotional issues the boy may have could figure into the decision whether or not to prosecute him as an adult or juvenile.
Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510
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