Defense: Evidence in storage unit not related to killing
CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — Items found in a storage locker that had been rented by a former Colorado sheriff’s deputy had nothing to do with an unsolved murder, his defense attorney said during opening statements.
Randy Jorgensen told jurors Monday that the items discovered after the December 2016 sale of Robert Dodd’s locker were gathered while investigating an illegal hunting case and it was speculation to think otherwise.
However, prosecutors say the hunter was a possible suspect in the 2006 shooting death of 17-year-old Candace Hiltz about 25 miles southwest of Canon City.
District Attorney Molly Chilson said Dodd tried to get the items back from the man who purchased the locker and made changes to the electronic record in the murder case days after the items were sold.
Dodd is charged with official misconduct, abuse of public records and possession of the suspect’s Social Security card.
Detective Bruce Briscoe testified he and other Fremont County deputies went with wildlife officers to search for the possible suspect about eight months after the murder because he wondered if there was any connection between the man and the Hiltz homicide.
“My intention was to see if we could find any correlation that would be helpful in the Hiltz homicide investigation,” Briscoe testified.
Chilson said Dodd tried to get contact information for Rick Ratzlaff after learning Ratzlaff purchased the contents of the locker at auction after Dodd stopped paying rent. Dodd also emailed the sheriff department’s records administrator saying he wanted to get into the archive file for the Hiltz homicide, Chilson told jurors.
Records administrator Andrea Cooper testified that on Dec. 27-28, 2016, Dodd made six modifications to the electronic file. She said the records system would record what was previously in the record and what was changed.
The trial continued Tuesday.
Information from: The Pueblo Chieftain, http://www.chieftain.com