Week in review | PostIndependent.com

Week in review

from staff reports
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Nichole Brownell didn’t visibly react Wednesday afternoon when she heard she was found guilty of being an accessory to the 2006 shooting of a Colorado State Patrol trooper.

On Tuesday, she fell asleep in her chair during her trial. Her attorney, Chip McCrory, said outside the courtroom they had no comment. Brownell, of Silt, later had tears in her eyes. She turns 41 today.

Jurors found her guilty of two counts of being an accessory to first-degree murder after about 11⁄2 hours of deliberation. She could face anything from probation to two to six years for one of the charges alone. Brownell was accused of helping Steven Appl hide and try to escape after he shot former CSP Trooper Brian Koch on Oct. 24, 2006, during a traffic stop south of Silt. Koch left the CSP due to permanent injuries and is now a safety consultant with Conoco Phillips.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Danielle Marie Trujillo received a hand-delivered check for $1,510 Friday night after prosecutors admitted police arrested the wrong woman in connection with a drug ring.

It was better than nothing, but Trujillo said she’s still upset.

“I think they’re just trying to cover their ass, because I’ve never heard of them going to a person’s house and giving someone a check,” she said.

The arrest came from an apparent case of mistaken identity. Trujillo, a stay-at-home mom, said she was arrested at her home in Rifle on April 17 in front of her 2-year-old daughter. The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team gave a photo of the actual suspect, Danielle May Trujillo, to the local media. Danielle May is a smaller, Latino woman. Danielle Marie has much lighter skin and looks completely different.

DENVER, Colorado ” The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on Thursday voted not to grant a motion that sought to narrow the scope of its rule-making process for the state’s oil and gas industry. The COGCC commissioners’ vote also turned away a request to spread its rule-making out over time.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association made the requests in a motion filed about a month after the COGCC released its oil and gas draft rules in late March. The new rules are a result of house bills 1298 and 1341, which the state Legislature passed last year. They required that the COGCC expand its focus to consider public health and wildlife impacts.

COGA filed its motion because it says there isn’t enough time to analyze the proposed rules and that state officials have gone beyond the legislative intent that created the new oil and gas rules, according to COGA’s motion. The group’s motion sought to delay parts of the rule-making, which included proposals to protect drinking water, curtail odors and reclaim wildlife habitat.

RIFLE, Colorado ” With less than 10 hours to go until summer break, Rifle High School students and staff were surprised Thursday afternoon with an emergency lockdown of the facility due to a bomb threat.

The lockdown was issued immediately after the school received a phone call at 12:45 p.m. warning school officials of a bomb in the building or on the school grounds. The lockdown was lifted around 2:10 p.m. after search crews of Rifle Police Department, Rifle Fire Protection District and Garfield School District Re-2 staff found nothing threatening in the building.

Students were kept in their respective classrooms for the duration of the search until it was determined that no threat was present, according to Re-2 director of districtwide services Theresa Hamilton.

PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” High school graduation for Pramini Kanakaraj was much more than just her first big accomplishment, it was another first for Coal Ridge High School as well.

“It’s a really big honor,” said the school’s first-ever valedictorian after she turned her tassel and tossed her cap last Sunday afternoon. “It’s a special part of the school’s history. I just hope I made a good first impression.”

People from across the valley packed the gymnasium at the three-year-old high school for its inaugural graduation ceremony. It’s the first high school graduation for the towns of Silt and New Castle in 42 and 45 years, respectively.

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