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Some high-profile Colorado murder trials delayed during pandemic

“We continue cases all the time, I don’t think we’ve ever done it en mass like this,” said George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District Attorney.

COLORADO, USA — Like everything else, Colorado's court system is adjusting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many courts are open for only limited business, others have closed temporarily, like the Lindsey-Flanagan Courthouse in Denver, which closed for two days following a confirmed case of COVID19.

Across the state, many cases have been delayed, including a few high-profile trials.

The 17th Judicial District paused jury selection for the trial against Dreion Dearing. He is accused of killing Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm in 2018.

In La Plata County, the trial against Mark Redwine was delayed again. Redwine is accused of killing his son, Dylan, in 2012. His most recent trial date was scheduled for April but has now been continued until late May, according to the 10th Judicial District Attorney’s office.

“We continue cases all the time, I don’t think we’ve ever done it en mass like this,” said George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District Attorney.

“The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has said there aren’t going to be jury trials until May 15th, that is unprecedented,” he said. “So we've had to take a whole bunch of cases, regular day to day type cases all the way to your big, high profile murder cases, and try to figure out a way to move them on the calendar.”

Brauchler’s office said several trials in his district scheduled for March will now be delayed.

That includes the trial against Arturo Garcia, who accused of strangling 18-year-old Ally Raber to death in an Aurora motel and then fleeing to Mexico.

It also includes the trial against Marcus Johnson, who is accused of killing TJ Cunningham in the parking lot of Eagle Crest High School.

Brauchler explained that defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial, but there are exceptions.

“It's a complicated process (for exceptions), there [are] some rules in place that give us some flexibility to do it. But I think the bigger issue, and the one were not going to feel for a while is, what happens when all of these things land two or three months from now and we still have a bunch of other cases that have been generated since that are also set for trial in that time?”

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