News

CARBONDALE MAN NOT FIT FOR CRIMINAL TRIAL

Carbondale—The elderly man accused of crashing into and killing a motorcyclist last summer on Highway 82 has been deemed mentally incompetent.  Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan says prosecutors need to figure out where to go from here given the Colorado Mental Health Institute’s evaluation of 89 year old John Walls.  Walls is charged with careless driving causing death and reckless endangerment in the head-on collision that killed 53 year old Patrick Dunn of Basalt last August.  Police say Walls crossed over into the median into oncoming traffic. Walls failed a driving test after the crash and lost his license.  Dunn’s family will tell the judge how they’d like to proceed during a hearing next month.

IN OTHER NEWS….

GYPSUM(AP) – A 14-year-old from Gypsum will spend 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to killing his father and keeping the body at home for six days. The boy pleaded guilty under a plea deal Tuesday in Eagle and will be sentenced Thursday. Investigators say the teen twice shot his 50-year-old father in the head in April, when the father was scheduled to meet with a sheriff’s deputy investigating a graffiti case involving the teen. He failed to show up for the meeting and work. The son called his father’s boss to report that he was sick for several days. The boss became suspicious and alerted authorities.The teen will serve seven years in youth prison before being transferred to adult prison on his 21st birthday.

BURNS (AP) – The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an apartment resident shot and killed a reported intruder.  Authorities say they got a call from the owner of the apartment on Dec. 12 saying a tenant knocked on their door and told them that an intruder tried to break into his apartment. The tenant told authorities he shot the intruder. Deputies say they found 32-year-old Brooks Hampton dead. Authorities say they are still investigating and no charges have been filed. The tenant has not been identified.

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – Colorado oil and gas industry leaders say new fines for rule violations could lead in some cases to companies shutting down or curtailing operations. An attorney for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry group told regulators penalties should be waived for minor infractions. The commission is considering the new fine structure to comply with a state law passed this year and an executive order by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The law raises the daily penalty limit from $1,000 to $15,000 for each violation and requires commissioners to assess a penalty for each day a violation occurred. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission delayed action until next year after a hearing on Tuesday.

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