Grand jury gets case of off-duty deputy in fatal shooting
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) ” A grand jury will hear the case of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy accused of shooting and killing a Montana man during a fight, prosecutors said Thursday.
David Rossiter of Sheridan, Mont., was killed Nov. 2. Authorities say he had been in a fight with Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Montana along U.S. 6 in the west Denver suburb of Lakewood.
Montana had approached a truck with Rossiter and another man inside on an off-ramp before the three got into a fight, police said. The coroner said Rossiter was shot in the hip and chest.
Stephanie Kruer, an attorney for Rossiter’s family, said the argument started over a cigarette butt flung from the truck.
District attorneys have the authority to file criminal charges themselves, but they can also choose to present the evidence to a grand jury and ask the panel to decide whether charges should be filed.
“The district attorney has the discretion to do this,” Kruer said. “But certainly the family’s anxiety level shot up” when they heard the decision.
Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey called Rossiter’s family Thursday to tell them his decision but did not explain it, Kruer said.
Storey announced the grand jury in a written statement but did not elaborate. Storey’s spokeswoman, Pam Russell, said the facts of the case warranted a grand jury.
“Looking at the body of evidence in this case, my boss came to the decision that this was the most appropriate way to proceed,” Russell told The Montana Standard in Butte, Mont . “Take it to a grand jury, let them look at the evidence and let them make a decision about whether to proceed.”
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