by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG- The three Dougherty siblings spent a long day in the courtroom as the state presented its evidence for charges against them.
Nine witnesses testified about the Aug. 10 high speed chase through Pueblo and Huerfano Counties and testified as well about the alleged gun fire that resulted in charges of attempted second degree murder and crimes of violence.
Huerfano County and Las Animas County District Attorney Frank Ruybalid and Assistant District Attorney Clay McKisson questioned Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputy Rob Newsom, who was the first officer to respond to a suspicious vehicle call at the Shell store in Colorado City.
Newsom described how the suspects in a white Subaru left the gas station and headed south on I-25 at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Newsome said that during the chase he heard two sets of gunfire.
This point was argued by defense attorneys Pat MacCarville for Lee Grace Dougherty, Cobea Becker for Dylan Dougerty, and Michael Emmons for Ryan Stanley-Dougherty. They noted that in his report, Newsome mentioned hearing gunfire only once.
State trooper Mark Buneta, who was leading the chase, testified that he got within four or five car lengths of the Subaru, but when the shots were fired, he was farther back. Emmons wondered why the suspects didn’t try to shoot him when he was closer.
FBI special agent Daniel Leyman spoke about the investigation after the chase and capture of the siblings. He noted that at least nine firearms were found in or near the stolen vehicle. The count included two AK-47 rifles, two machine pistols, two shotguns and three handguns. Only one weapon was loaded and around 2,000 rounds of ammunition were found in the car. Along with the weapons and ammunition, four license plates were found in the car. Two were from Colorado, and two from New York.
Lee Grace Dougherty and her brothers, Dylan Stanley-Dougherty and Ryan Dougherty were shackled as they listened. The next court proceedings for the Dougherty siblings are scheduled for September 26.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward