Court Opinions: Colorado Court of Appeals Rules ‘Contact’ in Stalking Statute Includes Unanswered Phone Calls

Editor’s Note: Law Week Colorado edits court opinion summaries for style and, when necessary, length.

People v. Miller

Roy Matthew Miller began dating F.R. in 2019. In October 2019, while she was driving Miller home, F.R. told him that she wanted to break up. Miller assaulted her and left her lying on the road as he drove away in her car. F.R. didn’t write a statement for the police in fear of retaliation but let the officers take pictures of her injuries.

Another altercation happened in June 2020 after Miller was released on bond for the car incident. Officers arrested Miller the following week. 

Between July and August 2020, F.R. received more than 40 phone calls from an unknown number. She believed that Miller had made these calls in violation of a protection order. F.R. reported the calls to a police officer, who traced the number back to the Adams County jail where Miller was in custody. 

Miller appealed his conviction of aggravated motor vehicle theft, third-degree assault, first-degree criminal trespass, violation of bail bond conditions, violation of a protection order, stalking (emotional distress) and two counts of first-degree burglary as a crime of violence. He also appealed his sentences. 

Addressing an issue of first impression in Colorado, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that the term “contacts” in the stalking statute encompasses making phone calls, even if the victim doesn’t answer the calls. Addressing another issue of first impression, the appeals court held that under the test adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court in 2017 for determining when one offense is a lesser included offense of another, first-degree criminal trespass is a lesser included offense of first-degree burglary. So Miller’s first-degree criminal trespass conviction merges into his conviction for first-degree burglary. 

The court affirmed the judgment in part and reversed it in part.

Previous articleJohn Walsh Wins Denver DA Primary, Other Races Set for November
Next articleCourt Opinions: Colorado Supreme Court Holds a REDDI Tip Justified Police Stop


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here