Parachute man facing three felony counts in shooting death

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Nathanael Rice of Parachute, accused of accidentally shooting another man in the head and killing him last month, was formally charged on Wednesday with reckless manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and illegal discharge of a firearm.

If convicted on all counts and ordered by the court to serve sequential sentences, Rice could spend between 12 and 24 years in prison and face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Magistrate Holly Strablizky urged Rice, who appeared in court Wednesday without an attorney, to hire a lawyer before his next appearance, which will be Feb. 14 before 9th District Judge James Boyd.

Rice, 26, was arrested on Jan. 27 by Garfield County sheriff’s deputies, after Jeremy W. Caywood, 30, of Battlement Mesa, died in a shooting incident in the early morning hours of Jan. 14.

The incident took place at a private home located between Rifle and Parachute, according to the sheriff’s office.

Prosecutor Anne Norrdin, in an exchange with the magistrate on Wednesday, said the case is based on the belief that Rice was handling a gun that went off and shot Caywood in the head.

Norrdin asked Strablizky to impose a restraining order on Rice, preventing him from contacting Caywood’s children, telling the magistrate that Rice had tried to contact the family after the shooting.

When Strablizky questioned Norrdin about the legal justification for a restraining order, the prosecutor said the request came from the children’s grandfather. She also acknowledged that such an order may be legally debatable.

Norrdin said the grandfather, who was not identified, mostly wanted to prevent Rice from possessing firearms or using alcohol or drugs, conditions that were attached to the proposed restraining order.

“Let’s be direct about what we’re asking for,” Strablizky responded.

When Rice spoke up, telling the magistrate that the Caywood children have been taken to Oklahoma to stay with relatives, Strablizky decided to simply expand the conditions of Rice’s $11,000 bond to prohibit possession of guns and the use of alcohol or drugs.

“If you do either one of them,” she told Rice, “you can get in further trouble,” including the possibility of facing additional criminal charges.

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.