Credibility of witness at issue in 2004 stabbing case
Not guilty. That was Lawrence Dale Doty’s plea on Friday in a 2004 alleged attempted murder case involving Samuel Lincoln. Both Lincoln and Doty are accused of stabbing and attempting to murder Federico Garcia-Hernandez on Nov. 30, 2004, in a West Glenwood trailer. Lincoln was the subject of a manhunt in Mesa County late last year. He was arrested Dec. 11, 2005, as he tried to walk out the back of the Budget Host motel in West Glenwood, not far from the Fireside Trailer Court where the 2004 stabbing occurred.The pair appeared together in a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon before District Judge T. Peter Craven, during which both the prosecution and defense brought forth witnesses to testify about the alleged stabbing and the following police investigation. Doty’s attorney Gordon Gallagher entered a not guilty plea because he claims their witness, Sharon Coelho, the 18-year-old who suggested Doty and Lincoln assault Garcia, contradicted herself in her testimony and is not a credible witness. Coelho, who admitted she had a sexual relationship with Doty and said Garcia allegedly gave her money for drugs, could not confirm that Lincoln had joined Doty in the alleged home invasion. She said she did not accompany Doty or Lincoln to Garcia’s trailer. She said she received a letter Lincoln had written admitting that he was involved in the alleged attempted murder, but later said she could not remember what the letter was about or where it came from. The drugs she was on around the time of the stabbing, including methamphetamine, clouded her memory of the incident, she said. Prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Amy Fitch disagreed that Coelho’s testimony is not credible, despite her faded memory. Fitch brought Glenwood Springs Police officer Paul Pedersen and GSPD investigator John Hassell to testify. Pedersen responded to the stabbing on Nov. 30, 2004, and Hassell performed the follow-up investigation. When Pedersen arrived at Garcia’s trailer, he said he found Garcia bleeding from his face. Garcia allegedly told him he had deep gashes on his side and was bleeding profusely from his rib cage. Pedersen testified that Garcia reported that he had been sleeping when someone dragged him by his hair before feeling a sharp pain coming from his left side. Hassell said the suspects were wearing black ski masks and all had weapons, which may have included a knife, a handgun and a rifle with a bayonet. Gallagher told Craven that the day’s testimony in no way linked Doty to the incident. “There isn’t any doubt that a crime occurred here,” he said. “But they got the wrong guy.”Lincoln and his attorney, public defender Jim Conway, did not enter a plea. Lincoln’s case was continued until July 20. Doty’s not guilty plea sends his case to trail, the date for which could not be set Friday because Gallagher and Craven could not agree upon a date. Instead, Craven continued Doty’s case to July 12, at which time a senior judge will be appointed and a trial date likely will be set.
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Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs will present an interactive webcast, “Extreme Fire,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday as part of its free speaker series, The Gift of Education.