Mistrial declared in bank robbery case
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A judge in Garfield County on Friday declared a mistrial in the case of a man suspected of robbing a Glenwood Springs bank along with ones in Clifton and Colorado Springs.
Ninth Judicial District Judge James Boyd agreed with Mark Douglas Osterloo’s attorneys that the way a prosecutor questioned a witness regarding a robbery note prejudiced the jury and constituted hearsay.
Boyd was presiding over a case involving the April 27, 2012, robbery of a US Bank in downtown Glenwood Springs. The trial had begun with jury selection on Monday.
Osterloo, 47, of Denver also is a suspect in the robbery of an Alpine Bank in Clifton on April 26, 2012, and of robberies of banks in Colorado Springs on June 4 and 14 of that year.
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia said the mistrial occurred after Deputy District Attorney Peter Beyel asked something along the lines of whether the note was the one that had been given to the teller by the defendant. Caloia said while she doesn’t entirely understand Boyd’s ruling, she believes it had to do with Beyel identifying the defendant as having provided the note.
Caloia disagrees with Boyd’s ruling, saying the phrasing aligns with prosecutors’ typical behavior in court.
Osterloo “is on trial in a criminal case, and things that are done (by prosecutors in a trial) will be consistent with our position that … he’s the one alleged to have done it,” she said.
Despite her disputing the ruling, Caloia said that in light of it her office will review how prosecutors phrase questions.
Caloia said prosecutors will retry the case, and a trial has been set for Oct. 29. She said she believes Osterloo is scheduled for trial in Colorado Springs Oct. 6. A trial in the Clifton case also is pending.
Osterloo’s public defenders declined to comment on Boyd’s ruling.
Osterloo was arrested based on a license plate number provided by a witness in the case of the second Colorado Springs robbery.
Authorities say there were similarities in the appearance and actions of the suspects in all four robberies. The suspect didn’t use force or display a weapon in any of the robberies, but indicated he had a weapon.