Case against 2 troopers to proceed, judge rules

A Mesa County judge ruled that probable cause exists to support criminal charges lodged by a grand jury against a pair of Colorado State Patrol troopers in the shooting death of a Redlands man.

In a ruling released Thursday, District Judge Richard Gurley denied a motion to throw out the indictments, 10 charges in total, against Trooper Ivan “Gene” Lawyer and Cpl. Kirk Firko, both of whom are accused in the July 2010 shooting death of 31-year-old Jason Kemp.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, in filing a response to the motion, wrote that transcripts of the grand jury’s work showed evidence in the case not only supports the charges, it is “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Gurley scheduled a July 14 arraignment, when Lawyer and Firko may enter pleas.

The troopers, who remain on unpaid leave from the State Patrol, are accused of attempting a warrantless, illegal entry into Kemp’s home at 103 Glade Park Road, Unit B, in an effort to apprehend Kemp as the suspect in a non-injury, drunken-driving accident on July 20, 2010.

Kemp died after Lawyer shot him once in the chest while Kemp was standing in the home’s doorway.


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