Jury selection begins in former sheriff's extortion trial

Maketa resigned in 2014 and faces six felony counts.

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (AP) - Jury selection was scheduled to begin Tuesday in the extortion trial of former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.

Maketa was indicted a year ago for reportedly threatening to terminate a $5.3 million contract with the jail's health provider if it did not fire an employee who refused to support then-Undersheriff Paula Presley's candidacy to succeed Maketa.

Prosecutors also allege Maketa and others coerced a woman involved in a domestic dispute with a deputy to recant her story so the deputy could keep his job.

Maketa is also charged with witness intimidation and official misconduct for making efforts to cause courts to question the credibility of three deputies.

Prosecution and defense attorneys will question 68 potential jurors beginning Tuesday in an effort to seat a 12-person jury with two alternates.

© 2017 Associated Press


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