Karzen promoted to assistant district attorney

Matt Stensland
Matt Karzen
Matt Stensland

— Matt Karzen on Tuesday took on a new job title in the 14th Judicial District.

The former Routt County chief deputy district attorney is now the assistant district attorney for the district, encompassing Routt, Moffat and Grand counties.

“We have a lot of challenging work ahead in all three counties,” Karzen said Tuesday.

Karzen replaces Han Ng, who left the office in July for publicly unknown reasons. District Attorney Brett Barkey said it was a “a personnel matter that is not appropriate to discuss publicly.”

“Matt Karzen brings outstanding judgment and 20 years of legal experience to this office,” Barkey said in a news release. “Matt started his legal career as a deputy district attorney in Grand County in 1995. With many accomplishments in a broad range of settings since that time, I am delighted that Matt will continue to put his abundant talents to the service of this community as assistant district attorney.”

On Aug. 26, Barkey told Grand County residents he intends to run for re-election in November 2016.

“I expect to make a formal announcement as a candidate in the next few months,” Barkey said.

Karzen started working for the Routt County District Attorney’s Office in February 2014. He came to Steamboat Springs from Athens, Georgia.

He graduated from The Lowell Whiteman School in 1984. After high school, Karzen attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He was on the Alpine ski racing team and arranged his schedule so he could race and train in Steamboat during the winter months. He worked as a pizza delivery driver to help support himself.

Karzen has strong ties to the community. Before going to law school at the University of Denver in 1992, he was a member of Steamboat Ski Patrol.

In his new role, Karzen said he would continue to handle cases in Routt County and will serve a support and mentoring role for the deputy district attorneys.

Barkey said he will not be naming a new chief deputy for Routt County.

In addition to the two attorneys who work out of the Routt County office, a recent law school graduate is joining the team for a year through a fellowship with the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council.

Routt County prosecutors have some serious cases moving through the courts, including four homicide cases.

Karzen is the primary attorney assigned to the Thomas Lee Johnson retrial.

Eliot Thompson and Barkey are prosecuting Kristen and Lucas Johnson, who are accused of murdering Edward Zimmerman.

Melinda Dudley and Barkey are prosecuting Cole Pollard, who is accused of murdering Patricia Richmond.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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