Two charged in Appl case appear in court
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Two people charged with aiding Steven Appl, the man who shot a state trooper Oct. 24, got cross-ways of District Court Judge Denise Lynch Thursday.Wayne Hangs and Nicole Brownell appeared in court for arraignment. Both were advised of the charges against them in court on Nov. 29.Hangs appeared without an attorney and said he was confused about the charges against him. He has been charged with being an accessory to a crime and tampering with evidence.”I’m not sure of what I’m actually being accused of,” he said. “I don’t know what part of it I’m involved in.”Police reports say Appl had been hiding in Hangs’ home south of Silt after shooting and seriously wounding Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brian Koch. Appl later shot and killed himself after the vehicle he was hiding in was stopped at a police checkpoint. According to police reports, Brownell, a resident in Hangs’ home, took Cori Graham to the home and asked her to drive Appl to Silt in hopes of helping him elude authorities.Graham also faces charges related to her role as driver of the vehicle. She is due in District Court Friday.”The smartest thing you can do it is to get an attorney,” Lynch said to Hangs.Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney pointed out that the defendant is charged with being an accessory to attempted first-degree murder.”Those are very serious charges,” Cheney said.Lynch agreed.”If you are found guilty of these charges you’re looking at a lot of prison time,” she said. “You really need to get an attorney.”If convicted, Hangs faces presumptive maximum sentences totaling 1012 years in prison.Brownell, who was also in court Thursday morning, asked the judge to dismiss her court-appointed attorney Peter Rachesky.She is charged with the same accessory and tampering charges as Hangs, as well as a felony marijuana possession.”I don’t feel he’s in my best interest,” she said of Rachesky. “He doesn’t return my calls. I’m not happy with him at all.”Lynch explained that Brownell is entitled to an attorney under the Constitution, but if the court appoints one for her “it would not be a lawyer of your choice.”Only by hiring a private attorney, and paying for his services, would she have that choice.”The defendant’s last phone call (to him) was Oct. 18. I’ve received one phone call from her attorney in Mesa County,” Rachesky said. “That’s all I gave. These claims of repeated calls are not true.”When Brownell was arrested in October she was free on bond for methamphetamine-related charges in Rifle. That sentencing was delayed due to the more recent charges. She has also been arrested and released on $10,000 bond for a felony drug charge in Mesa County.She would face sentences of 1612 years because she was out on bond at the time of her arrest in the Appl case.Brownell was also arrested on Dec. 29 when she was stopped for a traffic violation on County Road 319 in Silt and was arrested for having an active warrant for her arrest on a charge of contempt of court for turning improperly. Bond was set at $2,500 on this charge.Judge Lynch said she would allow Rachesky to withdraw from the case. “But this court will not allow you to play games. … We will give you one more public defender and if you’re unhappy with them you can retain a private attorney.”Brownell is set to appear in court on Jan. 19, and Hangs on Feb. 2.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. email@example.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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Recreation and travel in Glenwood Canyon will be much more hazardous due to the potential rockfall and debris flows originating from destabilized ground, rock and weakened trees burned by the Grizzly Creek Fire last summer.