Court Opinion

People v. Tresco


Gabriel Tresco appealed the judgment of conviction entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of second-degree assault. Tresco argued that the trial court erred by (1) denying his request that his counsel be removed; (2) admitting expert testimony that was not properly disclosed to defense counsel; and (3) considering, at sentencing, a video recording from five years before the events of this case in which Tresco discussed his gang affiliation. 

The last argument raised a novel question in Colorado. Tresco argued that the trial court erred in considering video clips of Tresco from the television show “Gangland” — in sentencing.

Following Dawson v. Delaware, 503 U.S. 159 (1992), the Court of Appeals concluded that evidence of gang affiliation is not per se inadmissible during sentencing if it is related to the nature of the offense and the defendant’s character, not merely his abstract beliefs. Thus, the court perceived no error.

The Court of Appeals rejected Tresco’s contentions and affirmed the lower court’s judgment. 

People v. Perez

Rafael Perez appealed from the trial court’s order of restitution. 

Perez in 2012 was charged with and convicted of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to five years in the custody of the Department of Corrections. 

At sentencing, the trial court reserved a determination of restitution for 90 days. Ninety-four days after the order of conviction, the prosecution moved for an extension to request restitution, citing extensive and complex medical bills, a lost wages form received from the victim the previous day and “substantial and possible ongoing medical claims from Crime Victim Compensation.” Perez did not object to this request, and the trial court granted the motion.

At a restitution hearing in January 2015, the trial court determined that an in camera review of the records of the Crime Victim Compensation Board was necessary to address Perez’s proximate causation concerns.

After the review, the trial court issued an order of restitution, finding that proximate cause had been established and ordering restitution in the amount of $17,060 to be paid to the CVCB. It also ordered restitution in the amount of $2,546 to be paid to the victim for lost wages.

Perez appealed the order on substantive and procedural grounds. The Court of Appeals affirmed the order.

People v. Harrison

Brittany Harrison appealed the judgment of conviction entered after a jury found her guilty of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Court of Appeals concluded the evidence at trial was insufficient to disprove the affirmative defense of immunity for persons suffering a drug overdose and vacated the judgment.

O’Connell v. City and County of Denver

Kevin O’Connell, Paul Hudgens, Carol Purdy and Dee Hayes opposed the Denver City Council and City and County of Denver’s designation of the Packard’s Hill Historic District, as a historic district throughout the process and sued the city council and the city government after the final vote. The plaintiffs alleged that the designation violated a Denver City Charter provision that requires a vote of at least 10 city council members to change certain regulations, restrictions, or boundaries when owners of at least 20% of the area included in the change oppose it. 

The plaintiffs made three claims, and the defendants moved to dismiss all three, arguing that plaintiffs had failed to state a plausible claim for relief because the charter provision did not apply to historic district designations. In a written order, the district court agreed with the defendants and dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims.

The plaintiffs appealed the district court’s order, and the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with directions. The court did not address the district court’s determination that the charter provision did not apply to historic district designations because the appellate court concluded that the claims were subject to dismissal on other grounds. After considering the plaintiffs’ petition for rehearing, the Court of Appeals decided to address the grounds relied on by the district court and concluded that the court erred by dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims. 

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