Testimony continues on whether Holzer is tried as as adult

Austin Holzer

An eyewitness to the shooting of Mesa County Deputy Sheriff Derek Geer saw Geer standing near a larger man as the larger man stood up, leveled a handgun and fired two or three times.

Gracie Lane recounted for District Judge Richard Gurley how she was driving west on E Road about lunchtime on Feb. 8 when she saw Geer standing next to his patrol vehicle and a younger man on the ground.

As the younger man rose, “He held out a gun and shot the officer,” Lane testified in the case against Austin Holzer, who was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Geer.

She heard two or three shots, Lane said.

Holzer, who was 17 at the time of the shooting and is now 18, is contesting the decision by the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office to charge him as an adult. Holzer turned 18 in April.

Lane said she was leaving Central High School for lunch with a friend and was driving past at the posted speed limit of 40 mph when they saw the shooting.

What she and the friend saw lasted “only a few seconds,” and they sped away as they realized what had occurred, Lane said.

They contemplated calling 911, but realized that officers already were on the way, Lane said.

Deputy Curtis Brammer testified that he found Geer mortally wounded, flat on his back. Geer’s handgun was beneath his right leg, Brammer said.

Geer, according to previous reports, had tried unsuccessfully to use his Taser to deal with Holzer. He had been called to deal with a report of a man with a gun in the neighborhood.

At one point during testimony Monday, Holzer — dressed in white and gray horizontal-striped jail garb — smiled as one of his teachers at R-5 High School recalled telling him his language was “atrocious” and to heed “my bleeding ears.”

Testimony is to continue today on the matter of whether Holzer’s case should be continued in district court or in juvenile court.


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