Page 1

Climax talk proves popular Page 11

Burkhardt gets to compete Page 12

Redden takes first place Page 23

Herald Democrat

Leadville, Colorado

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Vol. 137, No. 5 • 75 cents

Lack of Miranda rights could impact case by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Several statements used as evidence by the prosecution could be thrown out in the Maria Day case as Day was never read her Miranda rights when

she was arrested on July 8, 2015. The information came out in a Feb. 1 motions hearing where testimonies were heard regarding 13 different motions. This included a mo-

tion to suppress statements from evidence, as the defense questioned whether the gathering of these statements violated Day’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. The twelve other motions were also

Ready to hit the slopes

evidentiary seeking to limit or admit evidence into the trial. Day is facing a seconddegree murder charge; leaving the scene of an accident that caused bodily injury, a third-degree felony; one count of vehicular homicide in the fourth degree; and two counts of crimes of violence. The charges stem from a July 8, 2015, incident where Day allegedly struck and killed her boyfriend, John Alexander Martinez, with a 2002 Lexus. Day’s mother was in the car with her when the incident occurred. No evidentiary motions were ruled on Monday. The argument and ruling over those motions is scheduled for March 8. Several statements used as evidence were challenged by

the defendant. This includes a statement given at the crime by Day before she was arrested, where she said, “It’s my boyfriend, it’s OK.” Another was taken at the hospital after her arrest when she was getting blood drawn by the police department “It looks like he won’t be running or walking for awhile, which sucks, because he runs in almost all the local races. But he’ll be OK.” Interim Police Chief Saige Bertolas said all statements were given voluntarily and that Day was never interrogated. Sgt. Calvin Dawe testified he placed Day under arrest after he saw the injuries to the victim. He testified that he did Continued on page 3

Littlepage drops out

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Asher Horning is all bundled up and ready to hit the slopes last week with his Center classmates after a little bit of encouragement. See more photos on page 13.

by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Brad Littlepage resigned as chair of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee and announced he has decided to not run for county commissioner on Monday, Feb. 1. The announcement was made in an email to the Herald Democrat and another to the members of the Democratic Central Committee. No reason was given. Sarah Mudge is now running for the Dist. 2 commissioner seat unopposed.

The next Democratic Central Committee meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Leadville Senior Center. Bud Elliott, who is also running for county commissioner in Dist. 3, will take over the proceedings as vice chair. County Clerk Patty Berger said she has received no information on why Littlepage has withdrawn from the race. The Herald Democrat was unable to reach Littlepage for comment.

Medical clearances of prisoners questioned at board meeting by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Concerns that prisoner medical checkups are neither thorough nor sufficient to prove they are in good health before being put in prison were raised in Thursday’s St. Vincent Hospital Board meeting. Hospital Board Member Fernando Mendoza, who also serves as the Lake County un-

dersheriff, said the Lake County Sheriff’s Department has an agreement with St. Vincent Hospital to medically clear new prisoners before they are taken to jail for the first time. After the medical checkup, the county gets a document from the hospital. Mendoza said sometimes he doubts how soundly prisoners have been medically cleared. “We conduct medical clearances, from the sheriff’s office standpoint, to ensure that person’s safety in jail,” Mendoza said. “My concern is sometimes the medical clearances

are simply he can walk, he can talk, he must be healthy enough.” Mendoza said he’s concerned that if something happens the hospital may find itself liable. “I’m weighing liabilities from both the sheriff’s office and the hospital, and I see someone come in with a very high level of intoxication, they’re on drugs, but they have a waiver,” Mendoza said. “That’s concerning to me from a hospital standpoint.” Dr. Gary Petry, of St. Vincent Hospital, said it’s not that

St. Vincent is being negligent, but rather not every prisoner brought in is cooperative. “Sometimes it’s very straightforward. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes you have a patient who is very violently agitated and refuses to be examined,” Petry said. “And I cannot touch him, as I understand it, because they refuse to let me examine them.” Petry said he is unable to involuntarily commit someone to an inpatient mental health facility, known as a psychiatric hold, until a hospital is willing to accept a patient. Petry said

it can take days to do this, and therefore it is rarely an option. Hospital Board Member Byron Copley said that Petry is free to act as he sees appropriate. “There are general accepted policies, but there are decisions that aren’t clear cut,” Copley said. “The doctor has the right to make that decision.” St. Vincent Hospital Leadville Medical Clinic Director Peggy Frank said a task force consisting of employees from the hospital, the county and the city has already been formed on the issue.

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