Georgie Hand found guilty on all charges
April 7, 2016
Georgie Hand, 44, was convicted of all charges Thursday after nearly three hours of jury deliberation and eight days of trial.
The jury found Hand guilty of two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, two counts of menacing, two counts of disarming a peace officer and third-degree criminal trespassing.
The state had sought a second-degree criminal trespassing conviction, but the jury convicted Hand on the lesser third-degree criminal trespassing instead. Hand faces a minimum of 52 years and a maximum of 160 years in Colorado Department of Corrections' facility.
Sentencing will take place at 10 a.m. June 13.
Charges were filed after Hand and her ex-husband, James Brent Damon, both Mississippi natives, disarmed and held Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Nathan Martinez and Moffat County Sheriff's Deputy Bhrent Shock at gunpoint near Dinosaur National Monument in Moffat County on March 9, 2015.
Both officers took the stand during the trial, outlining the traumatic events of that day.
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Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume said he wanted to recognize Martinez and Shock, "two individuals who, 393 days ago, were out engaged in their chosen profession and placed in an absolutely horrific situation."
Damon was killed in the encounter after being shot in the head by Martinez, who was able to get a gun back in his possession.
"The jury heard the harrowing testimony of the two officers each surprised at gunpoint, taken hostage, disarmed and made to sit," said District Attorney Brett Barkey in a news release. "Because the officers believed they were about to be executed, they fought back, killing Mr. Damon and taking Ms. Hand into custody. The jury's verdict appropriately holds Ms. Hand to account for the role she played in a situation which nearly cost the lives of these two officers."
Barkey also thanked the 14th Judicial District, the jurors and all law enforcement agencies involved.
Shock and Martinez both testified during the trial. Shock was present when the judge read the verdict but declined to comment.
Before jury deliberation, proceedings wrapped up about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with closing statements.
Previously, the state cross-examined Hand, who resumed her testimony Wednesday and was questioned about the abuse she claimed to experience in her 11-year relationship with Damon.
Of those 11 years, Hand stated the couple only spent about three-and-a-half years together — the rest of the time, one or the other was in jail.
On Tuesday, Hand told the court on two occasions, Damon let his Aryan Brotherhood gang members rape her while he filmed — once on her birthday, two months prior to kidnapping Shock and Martinez.
Barkey asked if she had ever reported the gang rapes to police and why she did not mention it to investigators in initial interviews.
"So the first time anyone really heard of it, maybe beside your defense team, was your testimony yesterday, right?" Barkey questioned.
Hand answered that he was correct.
In closing arguments, the state continued to probe the credibility of the defense's witnesses and said the evidence contradicted all three prongs of the defense's claim of duress.
The defense asked the jury to consider Hand as a victim of Damon's violence, who no had no say in the matter and acted from duress after being subjected to 11 years of domestic violence.
"No one says 'no' to James Damon," said public defender Molly Hamshire, bookending the trial with the same words co-counsel Rico Tagliaferri used in opening statements.
Barkey also referred back to openings.
"'Wanted, dead or alive,'" said District Attorney Brett Barkey, Colorado 14th Judicial District, motioning to a photo of Hand and Damon, bordered with the same words.
Doug Winters, investigator with the 14th Judicial District, said he was relieved the trial was finished and hopes the verdict will help Shock and Martinez find closure.
"I'm glad that they can get some closure to this and they can hopefully move on with their lives," he said.
Anthony Martinez, Nathan Martinez's father, said he was satisfied with the verdict.
"I think it turned out the way it should have been," he said.