ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A new attorney for Robin Niceta stated on Monday that his client is now fit to stand trial after previous attorneys filed a motion stating she was incompetent due to a brain tumor.
Eighteenth Judicial District Judge David Karpel vacated a motion for a competency exam after Niceta’s new attorney, Frank Moya, said he was not going to raise any issues moving forward. Karpel also allowed Niceta’s now former attorneys, Marci LaBranche and John Graham, to withdraw from the case.
Niceta is a former Arapahoe County social worker and the ex-partner of former Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson. In 2022, she was accused of making a false child abuse claim against Aurora City Councilman Danielle Jurinsky after Jurinsky called Wilson “trash” on a radio show.
Niceta, 40, was ordered to appear Monday after prosecutors raised concerns that records she had submitted demonstrating she had a brain tumor may have been fabricated.
According to court documents obtained by our partners at Denver7 Investigates on Friday, prosecutors in the case said what was submitted to the court pointed to an oncology clinic and doctor in New Mexico that could not be verified, and that the MRI scans allegedly came Google images of glioblastoma.
Prosecutor Dan Cohen, said he was unable to verify if the doctor listed on the MRI was in fact a physician practicing in New Mexico, but said he spoke with someone on the phone claiming to be the doctor. He called that conversation “unsatisfactory.”
In a March 30 hearing, Niceta’s defense attorneys argued that she was not fit to stand trial because of a brain tumor. She appeared at the hearing virtually from New Mexico and was, allegedly, unable to speak.
On Monday, Niceta walked into the hearing and, via a family member, declined to answer Denver7 Investigates’ questions before proceedings began.
She stood next to her new attorney throughout the hearing and spoke briefly when she consented to her previous attorneys’ withdrawal from the case.
“Yes, I appreciate everything they have done,” she said.
Despite vacating the competency hearing, the judge decided that all documents sent to the court regarding Niceta’s health will remain part of the court records.
On Friday, Denver7 Investigates reported that prosecutors were unable to verify medical records from Niceta, which were shown on another TV station. The phone number for the listed oncology clinic was a cellphone, and the clinic's website was created in January and was a GoDaddy site. Documents stated the MRI images are “stock images of glioblastoma found with a basic Google image search.”
In court Monday, the judge noted that the court had received calls from several parties regarding Niceta’s MRI scan that were aired by CBS4, including from a Dr. Eric Strong, who claimed to be a doctor from Stanford, questioning the results.
The judge denied a motion to amend Niceta’s bond to require that she remain in Colorado, but did require her to appear in person. Her next hearing is slated for July 5 with the trial set to start in August.