Man to be tried on felony counts of rape, kidnap

Claude Wilkerson

A Gateway man accused of keeping a woman chained in his basement and raping her repeatedly for months has been scheduled to stand trial next spring.

During a short hearing Tuesday afternoon in Mesa County District Judge Lance Timbreza’s courtroom, Claude Lee “Chay” Wilkerson’s case was set for a 10-day trial starting March 26.

He will be represented by attorney Dan Shaffer and Mesa County Chief Deputy Attorney David Waite will be prosecuting the case. Wilkerson faces charges including first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault and false imprisonment in the case.

He pleaded not guilty in November, after he was arrested in February 2016 when deputies visited his home and found the woman’s behavior suspicious, as she asked to be arrested for an outstanding warrant. She later told investigators she had been held against her will for months after he and a runaway girl used diesel engine cleaner on a rag to subdue her.

Wilkerson was previously on death row in Texas and spent four years in prison before he was freed in 1983 due to a state court of appeals decision. Wilkerson is currently being held on a $1 million bond in the Mesa County Jail.

Man drowns in South Platte River

DENVER — Authorities say one man died and another managed to fight his way back to shore after the two were swept down a fast-moving river near downtown Denver.

The Denver Post reports firefighters pulled an unconscious man from the South Platte River early Tuesday. He died at a hospital.

Searchers found the other man alive near Confluence Park about an hour later.


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