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DA’s office short one hand following budget cut

by Bill Knowles

WALSENBURG— A $32,000 cut in the District Attorney’s budget has caused one attorney to leave the DA’s Huerfano County office and spreads the work load over the remaining attorneys for 2011.

    Carina Jenkins, the departing attorney, tendered her resignation in December 2010 after learning that her position was going to be reduced to part time status due to the budget cut.  Jenkins’ position was expanded from part time to full time in 2010 as the budget for the position expanded.

    “I wish I could have kept her.  It’s a regrettable situation, she was doing very well and I’ve received nothing but positive feedback about her work,”  Frank Ruybalid, District Attorney for both Huerfano and Las Animas Counties said.

    “We really didn’t have any other areas to make a $32,000 cut and payroll was the only place.  It’s really too bad, we’re going to miss her,”  Ruybalid said.  Payroll makes up 88 percent to 92 percent of the DA’s budget.

    In other news, following the mistrial of Boyd Gross, Judge Claude Appel has scheduled a retrial for March 7. 

    The first trial ended in a hung jury with four jurors voting Boyd Gross guilty of all charges including second degree attempted murder.  Four jurors found Gross not guilty because of reasonable doubt and the remaining four couldn’t arrive at a decision.

    Juror Dave Stanley found Gross not guilty.  He told the Huerfano World Journal in an interview following the trial the Deputy District Attorney Geoff Wasson presented a weak case.

    “It felt like the DA came to court poorly prepared.  His presentation of the facts was weak and he introduced witnesses who seemed to contradict a previous witness he had just examined.  Finally, I had to vote not guilty because the defense presented a stronger case.”

    Gross is currently being held in Pueblo awaiting trial on second degree attempted murder charges.