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Marmon trial may close

Christine Metz

The jury selected for Russell Marmon’s trial Wednesday never heard the cornerstone of the defense’s argument: involuntary intoxication.

The defense had planned to argue that Marmon was drugged with Rohypnol the night before police arrested him on suspicion of firing shots in an incident at the Dream Island Mobile Home Community.

Marmon’s trial started Wednesday. He is being charged with one count of felony menacing.

The charge stems from an April 3 incident in which Marmon is alleged to have fired two shots in the vicinity of Miller Excavating employees working on a river-improvement project behind Dream Island.

The District Attorney’s Office stated that Marmon placed one worker, Timothy Walker, in fear of serious bodily injury by threat of physical action and use of a deadly weapon.

The district attorney dismissed a second count of felony menacing Wednesday. Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said the man named in the second count, Chad Thompson, believed he already had missed too much work for the case.

Attorney Tim Oliphant had lined up witnesses to testify that Marmon had not remembered the incidents April 3, had acted out of character and had showed signs of being given the drug Rohypnol.

District Judge Michael O’Hara ruled that the testimony was speculative and could not be used to prove an involuntary intoxication defense. He further stated it would require the prosecution to disprove something it could not disprove.

“If I were to allow this argument, then there would not be a criminal conviction again,” O’Hara said.

The jury is expected to give a verdict on the trial by mid-morning today. The defense and prosecution gave opening statements and called all of their witnesses to testify Wednesday afternoon. Marmon was not among those testifying.

Walker, a heavy-equipment operator for Miller Excavation, was the first to testify on the prosecution side and said he saw Marmon standing along the bank of the Yampa River holding what he believed to be a revolver.

Walker said he heard two loud booms and believed he saw Marmon’s arm recoil after one shot.

“I thought I was back in the wild, wild West. I thought I was going to see a bullet fly through my cab at any time,” Walker told the jury.

The defense also called Steamboat Springs Police Detective Bob DeValle, Sgt. Joel Rae and Officer Matt Harmon. The three were at the scene when Marmon was arrested.

Rae said that after Marmon heard his Miranda rights, he admitted to “firing two rounds at the loader, because he didn’t want them messing up the river.” “He stated he didn’t shoot anybody, but tried to scare the loader operator so he had to stop working,” Rae said.

Harmon testified that he recovered a revolver belonging to Marmon and two spent shell casings from the trailer that Marmon walked out of when police arrived. Rae said three bullets were found in the pocket of the pants Marmon was wearing.

Marmon’s wife, Ann Evonoff, testified to his character.

Before the witnesses were called, Oliphant argued that the involuntary intoxication testimony would have shown that alcohol could not have contributed to the incident. He said that witnesses would have testified that Marmon had been at a barbecue the evening before the shots were fired and got into a verbal scuffle with a neighbor.

The man allegedly had asked Marmon if he liked him, and Marmon said he replied, “I don’t trust you.”


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