Granby manslaughter case goes to jury
July 22, 2011
The nine-day trial in the case of Kristen Schoen, accused of accidentally killing her boyfriend on a dare, went to the jury on Thursday, July 21, at 3:45 p.m.
The defense argued Michael Thomas, 25, committed suicide on the night of Aug. 18, 2010, dying from a single shotgun wound to his throat in the bedroom of a manufactured home where the coupled lived in Granby.
Prosecution attorneys argued that Kristen Schoen, 25 at the time, was the one who pulled the trigger. She is charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham and Deputy District Attorney Heather Shwayder Hughes relied on evidence of gun powder on Schoen’s right hand and her own testimony captured on video the night of the incident in interviews with Granby Police.
Both Schoen and Thomas had been heavily drinking that day. At the time of the incident, it’s deemed Schoen’s blood alcohol was about 300 percent of the legal level at which someone in Colorado is considered to be driving under the influence.
Schoen’s attorneys Sheryl Uhlmann and Hilary Perry argued the prosecution’s case relied solely on statements Schoen made “during the fog of alcohol.”
At the end of closing arguments on Thursday, Perry requested a mistrial. Among four points conveyed as reasons, Perry said Schoen was denied her constitutional right to due process concerning the evidence of the police tape, which wasn’t shown in full during the trial. Judge Mary Hoak of the 14th Judicial District in Grand County denied the request.
The jury was scheduled to deliberate until 5 p.m. on Thursday, then if no verdict is reached, reconvene on Friday.