by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG- Assistant District Attorney Geoff Watson made his pitch to 3rd District Court Judge, Claude Appel, convincing Appel on Thursday, June 17, that the state has enough evidence to show probable cause in charging Boyd Gross with the attempted murder of his wife Donna Gross last April.
Trial for Boyd Gross has been scheduled for the week of Oct. 18, through Oct. 25. This includes a day to pick the jury.
The sparring between the DA and the defense began immediately with Gross’s attorney, Cobea Becker, asking the Assistant District Attorney for notes that were taken on any and all interviews. Mr. Watson responded that some of the notes had not been transcribed yet and some recorded interviews still had to be burned to compact discs.
Failure to keep notes also surfaced later in the proceedings when R.C. Sexton, an investigator for the DA’s office, admitted that he took notes while interviewing Donna Gross earlier this month but then destroyed them after he filed his report with the DA.
The two and a half hour preliminary hearing ended after both Sexton and Detective Craig Lessar of the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated the shooting, had been questioned by both sides which prompted the investigators into giving graphic testimony of the events.
According to statements made by Mr. Watson, while questioning Detective Lessar, the Gross’s relationship began to collapse when Boyd Gross started drinking, a behavior pattern from the past being repeated.
When the emergency call was first reported, 9-1-1 dispatched sheriff’s deputies on an attempted suicide call. But according to statements made by Detective Lessar while under oath, he became convinced that it was otherwise as he dug deeper into the events and interviewed Mr. Gross’s co-workers. The Huerfano County District Attorney’s office ultimately agreed with Detective Lessar and filed charges.
However with some missing documentation such as notes that were destroyed after they made their way into investigators reports along with some audio tapes that need duplication and the transcription of notes that still are to be made concerning interviews that were conducted for the investigation, Boyd Gross’s attorney is still looking for a case of reasonable doubt.
A motions hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 4, for all day. It is hoped that by then a gun shot residue report, being conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and the notes and transcripts of interviews will be in the hands of both attorneys. The judge will look at motions regarding that evidence during the Aug. 4 hearing.