Trooper challenges indictment in Kemp case

A Mesa County judge will decide whether probable cause exists to support a grand jury’s indictment against a Colorado State Patrol trooper in the July shooting death of an unarmed Redlands man.

Eric Fenster, a Denver attorney retained by State Trooper Ivan “Gene” Lawyer, filed a formal challenge this morning to the six charges in Lawyer’s case, stemming from the July 20, 2010, shooting death of 31-year-old Jason Alan Kemp. District Judge Richard Gurley today said prosecutors will have until Jan. 24 to respond to Fenster’s motion, while the judge indicated he’ll issue a written ruling. Lawyer was charged with counts of criminally negligent homicide, second-degree assault, first-degree criminal trespass, illegal discharge of a firearm, prohibited use of a weapon and criminal mischief.

The motion was raised this morning in a brief hearing in Gurley’s courtroom, where Lawyer and State Trooper Cpl. Kirk Firko made appearances.

Firko is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal trespass, attempted first-degree criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

Harvey Steinberg, a Denver-based attorney who represents Firko, along with Fenster told the judge they needed more time to receive and review transcripts from the grand jury’s proceedings.

Lawyer and Firko are scheduled to return to court March 8.


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