7-day attempted murder trial slated to begin Thursday in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the number of charges that have been filed against Steven Torres by the Routt County District Attorney’s Office.
A seven-day attempted murder trial is scheduled to begin Thursday at the Routt County Justice Center.
In preparation, 150 people have been told to show up that morning to possibly serve on the 12-member jury.
The Routt County District Attorney’s Office has filed seven charges against Steven Torres related to a shooting that occurred June 9.
After being escorted out of a bar in downtown Steamboat Springs, prosecutors said, Torres fired a gun down the stairs into the bar toward three employees.
Torres has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and a charge alleging that Torres illegally discharged a firearm. There also are three crime of violence charges that are known as sentence enhancers related to the use of a firearm.
Each of the attempted first-degree murder charges are Class 2 felonies and carry a standard prison sentence of eight to 24 years.
Torres is being represented by Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann. According to Routt County Court filings, Torres plans to either claim self-defense or generally deny the accusations.
According to a police report filed in Routt County Court, witnesses reported that Torres was acting odd inside the bar. He wore sunglasses and headphones and was staring at people and loitering around the bar without buying anything for about 30 minutes. The bouncers decided to escort Torres out of the bar. While being escorted out of the bar, Torres threatened to shoot the bouncers, the report states.
After being escorted out of the basement bar, witnesses said they saw Torres pull out a pistol and fire a single shot down the stairs, the report states. After seeing the gun, the bouncers started running down the stairs and one bouncer felt the bullet “whiz” by his leg.
A waitress by the hostess stand said the bullet hit the floor about 2 to 3 feet from where she was standing.
After the shooting, a witness said Torres ran away, according to the police report. The witness followed Torres toward Yampa Street, and police arrested him. He refused to talk about the incident to police and requested a lawyer. Torres has been in custody at Routt County Jail since the incident.
Police later learned that Torres was seen earlier in the night on a city bus. A male riding the bus said Torres was staring at a group of women on the bus and was making them uncomfortable, according to the report. It goes on to state the male thought Torres was acting so “weird” that he decided to file an incident report with Steamboat Springs Transit.
Police do not think Torres had been drinking the night of the incident.
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When Steamboat Springs Middle School band director James Knapp saw a production of “Matilda” performed on Broadway, he knew he wanted to bring a version of it to town.