Resolution of local charges possible for Arizona escapee
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A public defender on Tuesday indicated a plea deal may be near but pushed for independent access to a Rifle police car allegedly fired at by an escaped Arizona prison inmate.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to resolve the case, judge … ” Tina Fang, representing Daniel Renwick, told Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Gail Nichols.
Renwick is one of three men accused of fleeing from an Arizona prison July 30. He was arrested Aug. 1 in Rifle after allegedly firing a bullet that struck a car being driven by one of several pursuing officers.
No one was injured in the incident. Renwick was alone at the time, and authorities say the other escapees later were apprehended in other states.
Renwick faces first-degree attempted murder and other charges including being a fugitive.
Prosecutors want to do further evidence testing on the police vehicle and then let police get it repaired. Fang wants to have a defense expert be able to examine the vehicle without others present.
“Renwick has a right to his own investigation of this car without the watchful eye and scrutiny of the government,” Fang said.
She said private testing of evidence, such as weapons, by defense experts occurs all the time.
Nichols questioned the defense’s right to privately examine the vehicle but declined to rule immediately on that issue, while pushing to move forward with getting a vehicle test with defense expert participation scheduled. She set a tentative deadline of the end of January for that examination to be done, and Fang indicated the entire case could be resolved before then.
Renwick, 37, is due back in court in February.
Renwick was serving consecutive 22-year sentences in Arizona for two murders. He is being held in Garfield County Jail on a no-hold bond in connection with the fugitive case, and $2.5 million bond for the other charges.