Judge declines argument to reduce amount due to mental illness

9:11 AM, Aug 27, 2008   |    comments
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A Larimer County judge Tuesday declined to reduce the $1 million bond for Travis John Kness, who's charged with second-degree kidnapping, menacing with a deadly weapon and reckless endangerment. Prosecutors say he kidnapped Rosanna Martinez, 45, as she left work with a co-worker.

Judge Daniel Kaup's decision means Kness will remain in the Larimer County Detention Center on $1 million bond.

During his argument to have his client's bond reduced, public defender Eric Vanatta said Kness, who has been diagnosed as being bipolar, is mentally ill.

"In his first interview with police, which was in the fairly recent past, he thought he was Ichabod Crane and that the TV was talking to him," Vanatta said. "Mental health aspects play into this decision heavily."

Kness' brother, Jim Kness, said Monday that Travis has a history with thinking he is a movie character. Jim Kness said that, in January when Travis waived around a BB gun in a Loveland bar, he was acting out a scene from the movie "Young Guns."

Kness was convicted of felony menacing for the incident in Loveland and was put on court-ordered medication.

When prosecutor Michael Pearson argued Kness' bond should not be reduced because of the seriousness of the charges against him, Kness interrupted telling Judge Daniel Kaup, "sir I did not." Kaup stopped Kness and told him not to interrupt.

Prosecutor Michael Pearson said Kness' bond shouldn't be reduced because of the seriousness of the charges against him, which could result in a 48-year prison sentence.

Kness on Tuesday waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Kaup was hesitant to allow Kness to waive the right because Kness told him, "I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just listening to (Vanatta)."

Kness also said he didn't understand the charges against him.

"The district attorney thinks I kidnapped somebody?" he asked Kaup.

After Kness expressed confusion, Kaup explained to him the charges he faces.

(Copyright Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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