First-degree murder charge filed in Vail shooting
VAIL, Colorado – Prosecutors filed a charge of first-degree murder Monday against Richard “Rossi” Moreau in the Nov. 7 shooting at the Sandbar in Vail
“After reviewing all of the evidence, we felt that this was the charge that was best supported by it,” said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.
Moreau, 63, of Vail, also faces seven other felony charges filed Monday: two counts of attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault and two counts of menacing.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said he couldn’t discuss the specifics of why he thinks the evidence supports those charges.
“I can say it’s a very serious case, and we are taking it very seriously,” he said.
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Gary Bruce Kitching, a Carbondale physician, was killed in the shooting after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
The crime of first-degree murder is punishable by either life in prison without parole or death. Hurlbert said he has not decided which sentence he would seek in the case.
For the first-degree murder charge, prosecutors must show that Moreau killed Kitching “after deliberation,” Hurlbert said. That period of reflection and judgment “can be really short,” Hurlbert said.
Witnesses said staff members were escorting Moreau out of the bar after he had been bothering other customers. Shortly after he was removed from the bar, Moreau pulled out a gun and began firing, witnesses and police said.
The first shooting victim was a Sandbar employee, witnesses said. Manager Justin Barber is named as the victim in one of the counts of attempted murder.
Police say the second victim was also shot outside the bar. Justin Center told police he left the bar to smoke a cigarette and saw Moreau pull a gun out of his waistband and fire at him, according to an affidavit. Center fled and was shot in the thigh, according to the police affidavit. Center is named as the victim in the count of second-degree assault.
Moreau then re-entered the bar and shot the final two victims, Kitching and Jim Lindley, of Vail, according to police.
Lindley was shot four times, according to his daughter, and remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit in a Denver hospital. He is named as the victim in the other count of attempted murder.
The two first-degree assault charges pertain to Barber and Lindley, records show.
On the menacing charges, prosecutors say that Moreau tried, or attempted to try, to put Steve Core and Anton Robert Eisel in fear of imminent serious bodily injury by use of a deadly weapon.
The weapon in all of the charges was described as a Springfield .45-caliber handgun.
Dana Christiansen, who is serving as Moreau’s public defender along with Reed Owens, declined to comment on the charges Monday, saying he had not yet received a copy of the court filing.
Moreau is next scheduled to appear before Judge Katharine T. Sullivan in County Court on Dec. 1, when he will be advised of the charges against him.
If the judge finds probable cause during a subsequent preliminary hearing, the case will be bound over to District Court, where it will be taken over by Judge Thomas Moorhead or Judge Frederick Gannett, Hurlbert said.
Moreau is being held without bond in the Eagle County Jail.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.