Trial begins for Steamboat man charged with manslaughter
August 7, 2017
After two and a half days, a jury was seated Monday to determine whether a Steamboat Springs man is guilty of manslaughter.
Chief Judge Michael O'Hara said it was the longest jury selection he has overseen.
"This jury selection process took a long time in this case, and I'm sorry it took so long," O'Hara said to the group of people being considered to sit on the jury.
Eight women and six men make up the jury. Two members are alternates.
Darin Dickey has been charged with a single count of manslaughter related to the July 2016 death of his girlfriend Sarah Lay, 39.
According to the charge, Dickey unlawfully, feloniously and recklessly caused Lay's death.
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The jury is expected to begin deliberations Friday.
An autopsy determined Lay died from a subdural hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma to the head.
"This is going to be a case about jealousy and anger," District Attorney Brett Barkey said during opening statements Monday.
Prosecutors believe Dickey became upset when he found Lay passed out in his brother's bed early in the morning July 4, 2016.
Prosecutors are arguing that Lay hit her head on an armoire when she was yanked off the bed by Dickey. The impact caused the life-ending injury.
Police believe that Dickey, Lay and Dickey's brother Doug Dickey had been drinking heavily.
The morning of July 4, 2016, Lay, who had a history of seizures, was found on the living room floor.
"They debated what to do," Barkey said. "They debate. The bottom line is they didn't do anything."
Paramedics were eventually called.
Lay died the next day.
Public defender Kate Bush told the jury that there is no question that an untimely death is a tragedy.
She said Dickey did not fly into a violent, jealous rage.
Instead, after the incident, Dickey was devastated and searched for answers as to what happened, Bush said.
Paramedic Joe Oakland, who treated Lay at the White Haven Trailer Park, was the first person to testify.
The jury watched body cam video taken by a police officer at the scene, and Oakland explained to jurors how he treated Lay.
Jurors were also shown a picture of Lay taken during her autopsy.