Death of cop forces re-interview of witnesses in abuse case
Investigators with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office will re-interview witnesses in an abuse case because the main police officer who gathered information on the case has died.
Former Grand Junction Police Department officer Glenn Coyne was the sole officer to conduct interviews in a case against Errin Hubbard, 23, who is accused of abusing an elderly woman at Larchwood Inns, 2845 N. 15th St.
Coyne was arrested Oct. 1 on charges of sexually assaulting a woman and he committed suicide five days later.
Hubbard, who has been charged with third-degree assault on an at-risk victim and a misdemeanor count of neglect of an at-risk victim, was slated Thursday for a plea hearing. Her case was postponed until Dec. 10.
Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said his office will not systemically re-investigate cases in which Coyne interviewed witnesses.
“It will be on a case by case basis,” he said.
However, the case against Hubbard is “fairly complex and sensitive,” Hautzinger said.
According to an arrest affidavit, a nurse’s aide at the facility watched Hubbard place a pillow over the face of a female patient to stop her from screaming. The woman was a patient of six years at the facility and has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the affidavit said.
The co-worker said that she heard Hubbard yelling at the woman to shut up, and that a moment later the patient’s voice was muffled. The patient told police that Hubbard placed a white rag in her mouth before covering her face with a pillow and had done similar things in the past, the affidavit said.
Hubbard declined to be interviewed by police without an attorney present.
Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper said authorities have no reason to question Coyne’s interviews, but that it’s normal procedure in this kind of circumstance to re-investigate the case.