Records release could help case of former officer
Colorado’s Ninth Judicial District must provide records of any available reports of accidental weapon discharges by law enforcement in the 21st Judicial District, according to a judge’s ruling Tuesday in the case against Richard Bacher.
Bacher’s attorney, Stephan Schweissing, requested the records in a motion, saying it may bolster his case if it showed evidence of other accidental weapon discharges by law enforcement and if those officers weren’t prosecuted for those actions.
Mesa County Judge Bruce Raaum ordered the Ninth District to produce the records for Schweissing, who is representing Bacher, a former longtime Grand Junction police officer accused of several misdemeanor charges in the accidental shooting of a co-worker at a local gun store.
The Ninth Judicial District is acting as the special prosecutor in the case. Bacher, 56, is charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment in a Feb. 9 shooting at Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, 507 30 Road. Kenny Franklin, 54, was shot in the stomach but has recovered from his injuries.
Raaum will reply in a written ruling on whether statements made to Mesa County Sheriff’s Department deputies can be used at an upcoming trial for Bacher.
Schweissing argued in a motion that statements Bacher voluntarily made to police should be thrown out because his client was not read his Miranda rights.
Raaum also granted Schweissing’s motion that he be able to view the weapon used in the shooting, but that a third party needs to be present during the viewing.
Bacher worked at the Grand Junction Police Department from 1976 to 2002. He served as Delta’s police chief for about a year and resigned in October 2007.