by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — A routine jail shakedown on Wednesday, Jan. 11 resulted in the discovery of a jailhouse weapon and prompted officials here to transfer Dylan Stanley Dougherty to the Pueblo County Jail.
While a spokesperson for the Pueblo jail said they could not confirm the transfer, a search of the jail’s website showed Dougherty, 26, was in custody there on a courtesy hold. Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman said Tuesday that Dougherty was transferred to the Pueblo detention facility on Thursday, Jan. 12 as a result of the item found.
Newman said the incident is under investigation by the sheriff’s office detention staff and it isn’t currently believed any other inmate was involved. Dougherty did share a cell with another detainee at the Huerfano County Jail, but Newman said the current investigation seems to indicate the item was Dougherty’s.
He said additional criminal charges against Dougherty could be filed at the conclusion of the investigation.
Newman said at this time it was unknown whether Dougherty had the weapon for self-defense or if the Florida native may have been planning an escape. Dougherty, along with his siblings, sister Lee Grace and brother Ryan face numerous charges in Huerfano County following a high speed chase that ended in a vehicle crash just outside of Walsenburg on Aug. 11, 2011. The trio face allegations of firing at a police officer during a chase in Florida and an alleged bank robbery in Georgia prior to their capture in Colorado.
All three have been held at the Huerfano County Jail on multiple felony charges, including attempted murder in lieu of $1.5 million bond each.
District Judge Claude Appel has continued an order for increased security at the courthouse in Walsenburg for nearly every hearing associated with any of the three Dougherty defendants, due mainly, according to those close to the case, of increased media presence not for an escape risk.
Newman said in an interview Tuesday, that he had told all three defendants that if they ‘acted up’ while in custody here they would be transferred back to Pueblo.
All three were initially booked into the Pueblo County Jail following their arrest in August.
Lee Grace Dougherty appeared in court in Walsenburg on Jan. 9 for a motions hearing. Her case is set for a two-week trial beginning Feb. 21, 2012. Both Dylan and Ryan Dougherty are scheduled for plea hearings in their separate cases beginning at 10 am Monday, Jan. 30.
Newman did not say when he thought the investigation into the recent incident involving Dylan Dougherty would be completed.
Other sheriff’s department news
• Last week the sheriff’s office investigated the first reported incident of criminal mischief involving property of seismic crews working in the Gardner area. Sheriff Newman said two bullet holes were discovered in pneumatic tanks on a track-vehicle being used by Shell Oil in their seismic exploration in the area. Newman said no injuries were reported and there are no suspects in the incident.
• According to Newman, an uncooperative victim has led the district attorney’s office to drop first degree assault charges that had been filed against Robert James Sandoval from a Nov. 22, 2011 incident in which Roger Vigil was allegedly hurt during a fight between the two on CR 340.
Newman said the victim did not want to continue prosecution of the case and allegedly told investigators he had fallen and had not been struck by Sandoval.
• Michael Ferrero, 52, of Trinidad, will be in court for preliminary hearing on Jan. 23. Charged with multiple criminal counts, including attempted first degree murder, resulting from a Nov. 18, 2011 incident where it is alleged he threw a large rock through the windshield of a vehicle driven by Gino Begano and injuring him on Huerfano CR 310
Ferrero has posted bond in his case.