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Hill bound over on three felony counts in alleged armed assault

WALSENBURG — A 52-year old Walsenburg man was bound over on three felony charges following a preliminary hearing Monday in a case stemming from an alleged assault April 10, 2014 in a dark rental house at 222 W. Fourth Street. Kent Hill appeared in court, free on bond, represented by public defender Patrick McCarville. District Court Judge Leslie Gerbracht conducted the two-hour plus show cause hearing and bound the defendant over on charges of attempt to commit second degree murder (class 3 felony), second degree assault (class 4 felony), and first degree burglary (class 3 felony). Prosecutor Andrew Hall presented testimony from four law enforcement witnesses, including Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Cory Daniels, whose curiosity may have prevented the victim from further harm in the alleged assault, and the victim himself, Walsenburg resident Justin Gehre. Law enforcement officers Daniels, Cpl. Joe Albano (HCSO), Officer Mario Solano and Cpl. John Salazar (WPD) testified to their actions and the capture of Hill the night of the

incident. McCarville did not present any witnesses during the preliminary hearing but did cross examine all of the prosecution witnesses except one, HCSO Cpl. Joe Albano. Daniels testified he was not on duty at approximately 9:20 pm April 10, when he noticed a truck with appliances in the back of it in front of a home at 222 W. 4th St., that was known to him to be unoccupied. He testified when he drove up to the residence to investigate, Gehre came running out of the front door holding a t-shirt to his bloody head. Gehre allegedly told the deputy that Kent Hill was inside of the home and had a gun. Daniels testified he called for back up units and when they arrived, searched the home with Walsenburg PD Cpl. Deatherage, finding no one during that search. Daniels testified the home was searched a second time when he heard a door slam and while no one was found in the home, a small black revolver was discovered on the floor and in the corner of an area he described as a north side bedroom. Deputy Albano testified he arrived on the scene and took the victim to nearby Heritage Park where an ambulance was waiting. Albano testified he followed the ambulance to the emergency room at Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center, and with the ER doctor’s permission, photographed the victim’s injuries. The emergency room doctor was not called to testify and after defense objections, Hall withdrew the doctor’s statements made on the WPD’s victim/ injury form. Cpl. Salazar testified to searching the neighborhood, looking for people running and for the suspect Gehre had identified. Salazar said dispatch had received a call reporting a man hiding in the back yard of 214 W. 4th St. Salazar said he identified Hill and as that man and arrested him. Gehre testified he had been contacted by a woman who called herself Stacy, and was responding to a Craigslist house for rent ad he had posted. Stacy allegedly said she and her sister, Melissa, might want to rent the home. Gehre said after a couple of phone calls, an appointment was set and he met the woman near the house the night of the incident. Gehre said he showed the woman some of the house, by the light of her cell phone, sometime after 9 pm. Gehre testified there was no electric service hooked up at the time he was showing the house. He said he and the woman had not been in the house for very long when Kent Hill came through the front door and confronted him, followed by another man who loomed in the front doorway. Gehre said the woman fled the home and the man in the doorway stepped inside the living room to let her pass. Gehre said neither Hill or the other man made any attempt to stop the woman from running away, though he said the second man said something like ‘we’ve got eight guys outside, she won’t get away’. There was testimony from Daniels, that a man and woman were found sitting in a silver colored Buick crossover with the vehicle’s running lights on near the scene. He testified on cross examination, the woman did not have ID, but gave him her information and the man had an outdated Colorado MV operator’s license and a current California identification card. He was unable to remember their names and neither were identified in open court. Gehre said he was assaulted by both Hill and the second man, saying Hill pointed the small handgun at him and the two fought over it with Gehre at one time obtaining the weapon only to lose it during the continued struggle as the alleged fight moved into the kitchen. He said he was held by Hill as the second assailant, whom he later identified as Michael (Triver) Montez, hit him repeatedly with a metal flashlight. He said the bandana that hid the face of the second assailant slipped off during the last stage of the fight, just before Deputy Daniels arrived, and later on Gehre recognized Triver as Montez. Gehre said he believed Hill wanted to rob him as Hill had allegedly two weeks earlier demanded Gehre pay him money associated with a residential fire in February at 718 W. Seventh St., Walsenburg, a duplex owned by Gehre where Hill was a tenant. Judge Gerbercht set an arraignment date on Hill’s charges for 9:30 am Wednesday, August 6. She denied a prosecution motion for increased bond for the defendant.