SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s not yet been a week since Summit County resident Blake Bostic died as a result of an incident during the early-morning hours of Monday, April 14, at the Snowshoe Motel in Frisco.
News of Bostic’s untimely death has raised a mix of emotions ranging from shock and disbelief to anger and sadness, not only among those who knew him best, but also among casual acquaintances.
Standing 6 feet, 9 inches tall, Bostic was easily recognized on the streets of Frisco both for his physical stature and his proclivity for hiding his long, blond hair under a hat and hooded sweatshirt. Despite his imposing size, those who knew Bostic said he celebrated life and was rarely seen without a smile on his face or his favorite IPA in hand.
“He was one of the happiest, most giving people you’d ever meet,” said Gavin Lewis, a cook at Upstairs at Jonny G’s in Frisco. “Everyone called him the ‘gentle giant.’ He was one of the good ones. This just doesn’t make sense at all.”
Ryan Worthen, managing partner at Incline Bar & Grill located at the base of Copper Mountain Resort, said he and his staff have been taking Bostic’s death particularly hard. Bostic spent his winters working at Incline as a chef, Worthen said. Bostic also worked as a chef for a fly-fishing outfit in Alaska during the summers.
“Besides being an employee, he’s a buddy of mine,” Worthen said. “We’re all really close here. We’re like family and we all feel like we’ve lost a brother.”
Professionally, Worthen said, Bostic was a talented chef and was quick to take new cooks under his wing. The void has forced Incline to close its doors early every night since Monday.
“He had a lot of cooking left to do and a lot to teach others,” Worthen said. “He was a great guy and he loved living in the mountains. This is especially hard because we thought we were living in a peaceful community.”
Few details have been released in the wake of Bostic’s death, and those searching for answers about what transpired Monday morning at the Snowshoe Motel will have to wait a little longer.
On Tuesday, April 15, the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed two motions in Summit County District Court — one to limit pretrial publicity and a second to seal the case file, barring public access to arrest warrants, affidavits and any documents pertaining to the investigation of Bostic’s death.
The district attorney’s office cited two arguments in its motion, stating that the release of such information to the public could interfere with the rights of the defendant and the people to a fair trial. The DA also argued that access to court documents could jeopardize the ongoing investigation of the case.
Karen Romeo, 5th Judicial District Judge, signed an order the same day granting the motion.
On Wednesday, April 16, the Summit Daily News retained Denver attorney Chris Beall to file a motion requesting that the court unseal the arrest affidavit. The motion will be submitted to the court today, Friday, April 18.
In it, the Summit Daily argues the district attorney’s office failed to show how public access to court records would create “a clear and present danger to the administration of justice.” The Summit Daily further argues the district attorney’s office failed to demonstrate how the defendant’s right to a fair trial could not be protected under less restrictive measures.
“The right of the people to receive information through the news media concerning the workings of the criminal justice system, as well as the right of the news media to gather and report that information, are rights protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and by article II, section 10 of the Constitution of the State of Colorado,” the motion states.
“Contrary to the people’s argument in their initial motion to seal, the question of public access to the court’s file is not confined by the parameters of the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act,” the motion continues. “Rather, when, as here, documents in a criminal case file involve a matter of public concern, access to such records is a matter of constitutional right.”
The Summit Daily will continue to report on that matter as details develop.
In the meantime, Jonny Grecko, owner of Upstairs at Jonny G’s, 409 Main St. in Frisco, announced this week it will host an impromptu celebration of the life of Blake Bostic.
Grecko, who is closing Jonny G’s at the end of the month to move to a new location, said plans were always in the works to host some type of a party Friday night, which marks DJ Landry’s final show at the local nightclub and bar.
Landry is a close friend of Bostic’s, Grecko said.
“This was an unexpected tragedy in our little town and we wanted to do something to help the community cope with the loss of a member of our community,” Grecko said. “We also wanted it to be a festive, casual atmosphere where people can raise a drink and share good memories and laughter in his honor.”
The celebration runs from 9 p.m. to close Friday.