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Monday Trial Watch: Man Released From Prison After Sentence Overturned

Editor’s Note: Statewide trial reporter Peter Rossi rounds up today’s court news.

Former Parachute man Michael Lacefield was released from the Garfield County Jail Thursday morning after posting a $15,000 bond. The Colorado Court of Appeals overturned a guilty plea in June, and Lacefield was released Thursday after nearly two years in prison. No date has been set for the retrial. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney tried the original case, and Glenwood attorney Lawson Wills represented Lacefield.

4 Arrested In $80 million Fraud Ring
Federal authorities arrested four people Friday as part of a investigation into a criminal fraud ring that may have cost multiple banks over $80 million. Two of them, Natallia Vishnevskay and Nadezda Nikitina, appeared in a Denver federal courtroom to hear the charges against them.

Cops Think Lowe’s Pregnancy Spurred Missing Person Report
The Aurora police department say that Aaron Thompson may have reported his daughter Aarone missing because his girlfriend was eight months pregnant and family members visiting the new baby would have been suspicious when they didn’t see the girl.

Fisherman To Testify At Arson Trial
Retired Los Angeles police officer Larry Garfinkel testifies Monday in the arson case against Larry Gerbaz, charged with starting a fire last April that burned a thousand acres. Garfinkel, who was fishing when the fire struck, will testify he had to jump in a creek to survive the flames.

Steamboat Crime And Court News
The Steamboat Pilot & Today rounds up the latest crime and court news.

Colorado Springs Tries To Keep USOC
The Colorado Springs City Council revised the incentives package, which raises taxes, in a bid to keep the U.S. Olympic Committee headquartered in the city.

Opening Arguments In Steamboat Murder Trial
14th Judicial Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Snow told a jury that Terry Hankins killed his wife because she refused to have sex with him. Hankins is charged with first-degree murder of his wife Cynthia.

Springs Gang Leader Convicted
Colorado Springs gang leader Darneau Versill Pepper was convicted Friday of a double murder. He faces two life sentences when he is sentenced.

Judge Bans Guns In Courtroom
Twelfth Judicial Chief District Judge John Kuehnhold has issued an order prohibiting peace officers on personal business from carrying firearms into courthouses. It also incorporates officers associated with the courts such as the clerk’s office and the probation department.’

Have a trial you want to tell us about? Do you have questions about our future trial coverage? Send your queries to Peter Rossi at

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