May 25, 2010 5:01 PM by John Romero

Case slips through the cracks allowing early prison release

When the name Charles Greenwell comes to mind you probably remember his conviction for his part in the shooting of Pueblo Police Officer Dennis Yaklich in 1985. He was released on parole in 2006 when investigators say he assaulted an elderly man during a dispute over a piece of antique furniture. Greenwell won an appeal in November and was released Tuesday after his re-trial was never set to go to court. "The case had not been set for jury trial within six months of the trial court receiving the order from the appellate court to re-try the matter, so we moved to dismiss." explains Greenwell's public defender Daniel Zettler.

11th Judicial District, District Attorney Thom LeDoux isn't sure why it never happened. When asked if it was something that just fell through the cracks, he replied "As far as I know, that would be a fair way to describe it." But as Greenwell is released, the victim's family is afraid. "I was disgusted. I was horrified. I was scared for my father." says the assault victim's daughter who didn't want to be identified.

The victim's daughter tells us friends of her father received death threats against the man but they don't have the letters. She says she tried to call authorities but the calls went unanswered. LeDoux says his office never received a complaint and that the victim told his Deputy DA Tuesday that he didn't want to go through another trial. The victim's daughter says her father is scared of what would happen if he testified. "My father is afraid and in most cases where there's been a horrible crime, the victim will show hesitation." she says. Because of that and other circumstances, LeDoux says they most likely wouldn't have re-filed the case anyway. "In this set of circumstances I don't think we would have gone forward with the second trial in any event." he explains.




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