Court drops sexual assault case |

Court drops sexual assault case

A former Silt man accused of multiple sexual assaults on children was exonerated in a Glenwood Springs courtroom Wednesday, with his public defender blaming questionable witnesses, the media and critics of the district attorney’s office.The case against Alfred Owens, 53, was dropped in district court after public defender Greg Greer read a statement saying “no experienced DA ever realistically assessed the case. An experienced prosecutor indicated when the trial was reset that she did not want to handle the case and would have dismissed it.”He cited inconsistent statements from witnesses, juvenile and adult, who accused Owens of at least 10 heinous sexual assaults on children. Greer’s statement, called a factual basis for dismissal, said “at least one of the witnesses admitted that all of the witnesses had a meeting to ‘get their stories straight.'”The statement also says that the witnesses committed crimes ranging from supplying liquor to minors to lying to police, which “is significant because it undermines the credibility of the witnesses and provides a motive for fabrication.” Greer closed the statement by accusing critics of Colleen Truden and the Aspen Times of jeopardizing Owens’ chances of receiving a fair trial.”Judge, I also feel compelled to comment on the attempt by some attorneys to manipulate this case and its outcome. Statements that were made to (the Times) jeopardized the fairness of the jury panel in this case,” Greer wrote. “I believe that due to these statements it would have been virtually impossible to select a fair and impartial jury in this jurisdiction.””I am relieved that (Assistant District Attorney Vince) Felletter puts seeking justice above any political agenda put forward by others in this legal community.”Asked to comment, Felletter told a reporter to “start printing the truth. That’s all I have to say.”He later said that he was restricted from commenting on cases currently under way. “I don’t intend on losing my license,” Felletter said.He said he could talk about some cases after they are closed. “In the (Owens) case, I’ll make my choice to talk to reporters that I think are fair and honest with the facts,” he said. “You continue to print other bulls— things from some of the same attorneys. I know the attorneys we’re talking about, and the fact that a source has given you bad information on one case ought to indicate to you that they’re not a reliable source on another case.”Felletter also expressed unhappiness that the Times left out his verbal listing in court of all the continuances in a fatal car accident case Tuesday for a story in Wednesday’s edition. The continuances dated back to the previous administration in the district attorney’s office.”This DA’s office has not been responsible for any continuance,” he said in the hearing for Dustin Hite. The 18-year-old faced a felony charge of vehicular homicide before a plea offer of careless driving causing death, a misdemeanor, was offered.In Tuesday’s hearing, Felletter and Hite’s attorneys disagreed on whether a plea agreement had been established. A hearing Friday will decide the issue, and if a plea bargain has been reached, Hite will be sentenced.

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.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User