New judge to be assigned
by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — Although a jury trial for former sheriff’s office captain Kevin Vallejos had been set to begin Monday, Jan. 8th in district court in Walsenburg, the first of two trials has now been reset to begin Monday, June 4, 2018.
A brief scheduling hearing was held Jan. 8, with Senior Judge Richard Hall presiding and the new trial date was set, however, Judge Hall will not oversee the trial in June. In September of 2017 Hall told the attorneys involved in the case that he will be retiring from the bench in March 2018. The Huerfano County Clerk of Courts will contact Court Services at the state judicial office and request a new judge be assigned to the cases.
In the hearing this week, Judge Hall said the speedy trial clock has been reset once again due to a time sensitive issue involving the defense witness list. Vallejos reportedly gave his attorney a lengthy potential witness list that contained incomplete information, such as witnesses’ addresses. Judge Hall pointed out the five day trial will not provide time for all of the potential witnesses Vallejos named to be heard. Judge Hall said the ultimate decisions on which witnesses were called to the stand will be up to the defendant’s attorney Ted McClintock. Senior Assistant Attorney General Janet Drake, who is prosecuting the case, told the court state investigators attempted to contact many of the people named in the Vallejos witness list, however some said they did not even know they were potential witnesses. It is believed a number of the names appearing on the defense witness list would be testifying to the character of the defendant. Judge Hall said realistically, the defense would likely have time to call approximately ten witnesses during the June trial.
With the first trial was set for five days beginning June 4, 2018, Judge Hall advised the defense to have their witness list complete and into the hands of the prosecution 35 days in advance of the trial. That timeline would call for the witness list to be sent to the prosecution in late April 2018.
Judge Hall advised both the defense and prosecution if they wanted any further hearings, like motions hearings or a pre-trial conference, they would have to take up those requests after the new judge has been assigned.
Vallejos remains free on a $100,000 bond on charges of sexual assault by one in a position of trust (victim under the age of 15 years; a class three felony) and attempted sexual assault; overcoming a victim’s will, a class five felony.
The charge in count one stems from allegations made in 1998, while the charge in count two, the charge set for the June trial, is from a May 2016 allegation.
The second case, involving an alleged child victim from approximately 20-years ago, will be set for trial sometime this year after the first jury trial has concluded.