Bond set in Montrose stabbing case

A Montrose County judge set bond Monday for a 14-year-old boy held for more than a month in connection with an attack on a Montrose High School girl.

District Judge Jeff Herron set bond of $5,000 for the boy, who is accused as an accomplice in the case.

Prosecutors, in the meantime, have to persuade the judge that they need a mental-health assessment of the youth to decide how best to charge the case.

The assessment is needed “to get a more complete picture of this juvenile,” 7th Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra said.

Using such an assessment to decide on charges is inappropriate, said Bill Richardson, a Grand Junction attorney representing the youth.

Serra and Richardson are to submit written arguments to the judge about whether the assessment should be allowed. Another hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14.

The youth has been held in the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center in Grand Junction since shortly after a Nov. 11 attack on the girl, 17-year-old Mallory Haulman.

Another 14-year-old boy, Michael Yates, remains in the Grand Junction juvenile-detention center without bond. He is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree murder and two conspiracy counts.

Haulman, who was unacquainted with either boy, suffered a deep wound to the throat and underwent immediate surgery. She has since returned to school.

Deciding how to charge the juvenile is complicated, Serra said, as the boy sat with his parents at the defense table in the courtroom.

New information is constantly coming in, including new developments that occurred last week, Serra said.

Serra said later he couldn’t elaborate on the matter.

New information, however, “is coming in on an almost daily basis,” Richardson said.

Little information, however, is available about what role, if any, the youth might have played in the attack.

The boy was seen walking away from Yates, whom they identified as a friend of their son, soon after the attack, but the boy was unaware of what had taken place, the family has said.

“I don’t really even know why I’m here,” he told a judge by speakerphone soon after his arrest.

In addition to deciding whether to allow the mental-health assessment, Herron also is deciding whether to allow Yates’ attorney to view evidence related to the attack.

Public Defender Harvey Palefsky wants to see the evidence before it is tested.

Yates told authorities he was responding to “voices in my head” when he attacked the girl, according to court papers.

If the youth’s family can post bond, it could mean he could see his seriously ill grandfather, Richardson said.

He will be forbidden from going to the school or contacting the victim and witnesses.

Serra lodged no objection to bond for the youth and said the Haulman family had been told
bond might be set.

“They understand,” Serra said.


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