Lawsuit against troopers to proceed

A judge denied a request to temporarily halt a wrongful death lawsuit against Colorado State Patrol troopers in the shooting of a Redlands man.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tafoya declined to grant a stay requested by attorneys for State Patrol Cpl. Kirk Firko, who, along with Trooper Ivan “Gene” Lawyer, is facing civil and criminal actions in the July 20, 2010, death of 31-year-old Jason Kemp, who was killed in the doorway of 103 Glade Park Road, unit B.

Tafoya did not detail a reason for the denial in her order. She did, however, agree to delay discovery deadlines in the lawsuit until another judge rules on whether the lawsuit will be allowed to go forward as an exception to the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.

Firko’s attorney had argued a delay was justified because of a legal dilemma. The trooper could potentially defend himself by testifying in the civil lawsuit, or lose the lawsuit by saying nothing and asserting the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the trooper’s attorney said.

Testimony or any other statements by Firko and Lawyer in the civil matters could potentially be used against them during separate criminal trials scheduled in December in Mesa County.

Firko and Lawyer pleaded not guilty to multiple charges and are scheduled for trials starting Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, respectively.


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