Jury finds former Sheriff Maketa not guilty on 2 counts - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Jury finds former Sheriff Maketa not guilty on 2 counts

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The jury in the corruption trial of former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa returned a not guilty verdict on two counts of official misconduct following several hours of deliberation. On the felony charges of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Earlier Monday, the jury told the judge they were at an impasse in their deliberations on the charge of extortion. The defense asked the judge to halt deliberations on that charge, yet the judge disagreed and ordered the jurors to continue their efforts.

There is no decision at this time on whether prosecutors will consider yet another retrial on those charges.

A status conference hearing has been set for February 27th to discuss those remaining charges.

Deliberations started on Thursday afternoon, then ended early on Friday as a juror was unable to make it to court due to an illness in the family. 

This is the second trial for Terry Maketa on charges of conspiracy to commit extortion,  extortion, and two counts of official misconduct. 

The maximum punishment on a conviction of extortion is six years in prison. 

Maketa was accused of extortion for allegedly threatening to terminate a multi-million dollar jail health care contract if the company did not fire an employee who supported a candidate for sheriff that Maketa had not endorsed.

Prosecutors also allege he committed official misconduct by trying to get two sheriff's department employees marked on the Brady list, documents that identify officers who may have credibility problems, based on their support for Sheriff's candidates.

Maketa's first trial in July 2017 ended in a deadlock as jurors acquitted him on three charges but was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining charges.

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