Suspect in Winter Park armed standoff pleads not guilty |

Suspect in Winter Park armed standoff pleads not guilty

Drew Munro
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

The man accused of holding police at bay for three hours in an armed standoff in Winter Park on Thanksgiving night 2008 has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

An attorney for Brian Wilson, 53, of Denver, entered the plea in District Court in Hot Sulphur Springs during a telephone arraignment Wednesday morning.

Charges against Wilson include five counts of attempted 1st degree murder, six counts of felony menacing, two counts of obstructing a police officer, three counts of prohibited use of a weapon, one count each of obstructing a highway, driving under the influence, DUI per se, and five sentence enhancers for committing crimes of violence.

The plea comes after a proposed plea bargain was rejected in June by Judge Mary Hoak and the subsequent filing of amended charges that include the attempted first degree murder charges.

The defense also unsuccessfully petitioned the court earlier this year to have Hoak recuse herself.

The charges against Wilson stem from an incident last Thanksgiving during which police say Wilson threatened them with a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun for three hours while drinking heavily in his car, which blocked U.S. Highway for the duration of the incident.

The standoff ended when police shot Wilson with a non-lethal “beanbag” round from a shotgun, which knocked him to the ground, according to the affidavit for Wilson’s arrest. During the ensuing struggle to apprehend the suspect, the affidavit says Wilson “indiscriminately” discharged four rounds from the pistol.

Wilson’s defense attorneys have argued that Wilson intended to harm no one other than himself and that the attempted murder charges, among others, are inappropriate.

Each attempted-murder count, without the sentence enhancers, carries a presumptive minimum sentence of 8 years in prison and a $5,000 fine and a presumptive maximum of 24 years in prison with a $1 million fine.

The sentence enhancers, if applied, require a sentence at least midway between the minimum and maximum presumptive sentences.

Wilson’s next scheduled court appearance is 1 p.m. April 30, 2010, for a four-hour motions hearing. His trial is scheduled for nine days from May 17-May 28, 2010, excluding May 27.

– Drew can be reached at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19600 or at

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