Indicted State Troopers in court
Under criminal indictment in the July shooting death of an unarmed Redlands man, two Colorado State Patrol troopers were accompanied by Front Range attorneys this morning during brief hearings.
Appearing for the first time since a Mesa County grand jury leveled charges in October, Trooper Ivan “Gene” Lawyer and Cpl. Kirk Firko were ordered by District Judge Richard Gurley to return again to court Jan. 11.
Denver attorney Harvey Steinberg, who represents Firko, asked Gurley to set the case out some 50 days for time to get transcripts from the grand jury’s proceedings. Steinberg said he anticipates filing motions challenging whether there’s probable cause to support the charges against his client. Lawyer was represented by another Denver attorney, Eric Fenster.
Roughly a dozen friends and family of slain 31-year-old Jason Alan Kemp were in attendance, all wearing blue t-shirts with Kemp’s face on the front under the words, “In Loving Memory.”
Both troopers were placed on unpaid administrative leave after they were indicted Oct. 21.
Lawyer was indicted on suspicion of felony counts of criminal negligent homicide, second-degree assault, first-degree criminal trespass, illegal discharge, and misdemeanor prohibited use of a weapon and criminal mischief. Firko was indicted on two counts of first-degree criminal trespass, attempted first-degree criminal trespass and criminal mischief.
Kemp was shot and killed by Lawyer in an apparent attempt by the troopers to force entry at 103 Glade Park Road, unit B, during the investigation of a non-injury traffic accident. According to the indictments, both Lawyer and Firko repeatedly pounded and kicked the front door of the home after Kemp had refused to come out, and demanded they get a warrant.
The encounter was explained in detail by witnesses to The Daily Sentinel soon after, including the published account of Ian Olson, 30, who said Kemp was unarmed.
According to the indictment, Lawyer had his gun drawn and told the grand jury he saw a flash after finally kicking the door open and firing once at Kemp. The veteran officer told the grand jury he thought he’d been shot.
Read the full story in Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel.