- Hello court watchers,
This will be a busy week in the 4th Judicial District and it will be my last as the Gazette’s Legal Affairs reporter.
I’ve taken a job with The Record in northern New Jersey, which is near where I grew up and where my family lives.
While I’m excited at this new opportunity, I’m a bit wistful about leaving a beat that has been so much fun to cover these last two years.
I’ve really enjoyed providing full-time court coverage. And I’m grateful to the judges, lawyers and court staff who have been so patient while explaining to me how the judicial system works.
The good news is my replacement is Lance Benzel, an excellent Gazette reporter who has covered the crime beat plus military affairs. I’ll be taking him around the courthouse this week, so be sure to say hello.
Here’s what we’ll be watching this week.
On Monday at 9 a.m. in Division 12, the jury resumes deliberations in the trial of a former Olympic wrestler accused of sexually assaulting a female wrestler in her dorm room at the Olympic Training Center. Here’s my most recent story.
On Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in Division 5, the first-degree murder trial of Martin Mendiola resumes. He’s accused of raping and killing a Colorado Springs woman in January 2004. As time allows, I’ll be live blogging this trial, which is expected to conclude later this week. Here’s my most recent story.
Friday will be a busy day, starting with a sentencing hearing at 9 a.m. in Division 7 for a man who pleaded guilty to shooting another man during a gang clash. Here’s my most recent story.
Then at 10 a.m. in Division 17, there’s a bond hearing for Detra Farries, the woman accused of dragging a Colorado Springs tow truck driver to his death. Here’s our most recent story.
And finally, at 1:30 p.m. in Division 19 there is a plea hearing for Cynthia Balestier. She is one of three people arrested in the shooting death of the father of the owner of El Ranchito during a April 25, 2010 robbery. Here’s one of our earlier stories on the case.
Bear in mind, court hearings frequently are postponed and rescheduled, so what you see here may not happen.
Do you know of a court story we ought to be covering? If so, let me know.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
John C. Ensslin
Legal Affairs reporter