The judge and lawyers in the first-degree murder trial of Kyle Sebastian Stott plan to take a hike together next week in north Cheyenne Canyon, west of Colorado Springs.
Prosecutors want to be able to show a jury the remote area where detectives last May found the decayed body of Jason Holley, a 22-year-old developmentally disabled man who had been missing since January 2009.
Police arrested Stott and Derek Hernandez in the murder.
During a motions hearing today, Stott’s attorney, Richard Bednarski opposed taking a jury on a field trip. He argued it could be too physically strenuous for some jurors and said they won’t be able to see much.
“When you’re up on the trailhead and look into the ravine, you can’t see where the body was located,” he said.
Bednarski also argued that the site will look much different than it did in winter when Holley went missing.
Fourth Judicial District Judge Deborah Grohs said she’s familiar with the area and has hiked there herself. But she wanted to take a look at the crime scene before ruling on whether a jury should go there.
“Wear hiking clothes,” she advised the attorneys.
If Grohs does approve the request, it would be the third murder trial in a little more than a year where the jurors visited a crime scene in El Paso County.
Last Spring, jurors in the trial of Salvatore Esquivel-Castillo visited a cliff southeast of Marksheffel Road where the body of a young woman was found. In May, the jury in the trial of Taylor Gwaltney visited the pedestrian bridge near Monument Valley Park, where a homeless man was murdered.