Silt man suspected of attempted murder appears in court Friday |

Silt man suspected of attempted murder appears in court Friday

Padrikea Nichols
Garfield County Detention Center/Courtesy photo

Interviews with arresting and investigating officers during a Friday motions hearing over a Silt man accused of attempted murder reveal him to have allegedly talked openly about specifics of the incident just hours after his arrest.

Padrikea Nichols, 36, was issued a warrant for his blood to be drawn after he was suspected of involvement in a shooting that left Thomas Powell paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator. Powell died months later.

Police were originally called to reports of shots fired at the 800 block of Pitkin Avenue around 8:19 p.m. April 26, 2021. When they arrived, they found Powell bleeding, with gunshot wounds to his upper leg and face.

Powell was then flown to a Denver trauma center, and later underwent multiple surgeries. Meanwhile, Nichols was arrested later that night, at his residence. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and assault charges.

According to previous testimonials made during court proceedings in October 2021, the altercation stems from growing tensions between Nichols and Powell over Nichols’ ex-wife, who is now Powell’s widow.

These court proceedings revealed that Powell and Nichols threatened each other the night before the shooting.

During Friday’s examinations conducted by prosecuting attorney James Stone and public defender Alex Haynes, Glenwood Springs Police Officer Chris Dietrich acknowledged that he brought Nichols to Valley View Hospital for blood testing. This was right after Nichols was arrested and taken to Glenwood Springs Police Department for questioning.

According to Dietrich’s testimonial, Nichols was noticeably nervous about getting his blood taken.

Nichols was required to give blood due the felonious nature of the case, Dietrich said.

“He was very nervous about needles,” Dietrich said. “He made a statement after that of something to the effect of, ‘I can shoot somebody, but I can’t do needles.’”

Defense attorneys for Nichols, who was appearing before Garfield County District Court Judge John Neiley, questioned officers over whether Nichols was made aware of his Miranda rights before openly making comments about the shooting.

Among the many pretrial motions before Neiley in the case are ones to suppress certain evidence in the case related to post-arrest interviews and matters related to Garfield County Department of Human Services involvement.

In response to the defense questioning, prosecuting attorney Stone asked arresting and investigating officers — as well as Garfield County child welfare caseworker — to describe in detail what happened leading up to the incident, the arrest of Nichols and investigating procedures following his arrest.

During an examination, Glenwood Springs Detective A.J. Hand, who was with Nichols in a police department interview room prior to his hospital visit, said he wanted to make sure he Mirandized Nichols prior to him making any statements.

“I recall he was asking a lot of questions about the victim — if he was still breathing,” Hand said. “He said that the victim was a good guy and that he didn’t want murder on his hands.”

Nichols has claimed through his defense attorneys that he was acting in self-defense during the incident.

Stone and Haynes also questioned officers who responded to a call about an argument between Nichols, Powell and Powell’s widow the night before the shooting.

The night prior, Nichols was drinking with Powell’s wife at a downtown Glenwood Springs bar when officers were called regarding a disturbance. According to testimonials, Nichols, Powell and Powell’s wife were all arguing over speakerphone.

Once police arrived, Nichols said he was allowed to carry a firearm and that he would be acting in self-defense if he confronted Powell over his threats.

During the night of the shooting, security footage taken from a neighboring residence shows Nichols pulling up to Powell’s residence in a truck. After which, Powell, waiting for Nichols on a porch, ripped off his shirt and aggressively approached Nichols.

Nichols eventually got out of his truck, retrieved an SCCY brand 9mm pistol, then fired two shots at the ground before allegedly turning the gun on Powell. It was later revealed through court proceedings that Powell was carrying an unloaded Derringer-style .22 pistol.

Stone would argue in October that Nichols shot a fifth time at Powell, proving Nichols’ intent to kill Powell.

Nichols is currently in jail on a $250,000 bond.

Judge Neiley has set a trial for March 28 to April 8.

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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