Hurlbert moves to bar Milo testimony
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – District Attorney Mark Hurlbert filed a motion Tuesday stating that Dr. Steven Milo, the victim in the case, lacks standing to object to the plea bargain in Thursday’s court hearing prior to the court’s acceptance of the plea bargain.
“Clearly acceptance of a plea disposition is a pre-requisite to the right to be heard,” Hurlbert wrote in his motion. “To construe the right to be heard in a manner that allows a victim an unfettered ability to challenge plea dispositions prior to their acceptance serves to directly limit and substantially qualify the prosecuting attorney’s constitutional role in determining a proper plea disposition.”
Hurlbert goes on to say that district attorneys have broad discretion in performing their duties since they are elected members of the executive branch of government. He cites precedent for such an argument in a 2006 Colorado case in which it was ruled that the “power to initiate, alter, or dismiss charges rests solely within the prosecuting attorney’s discretion and may not be controlled or limited by judicial intervention.”
Hurlbert said there is also legal precedent that a victim has no standing to be heard at a hearing contemplating complete dismissal of a case.
“It defies logic to suggest that where there is no standing to object to the dismissal of an entire case, there is standing to object to the dismissal of a single charge in a complaint,” Hurlbert wrote.
Hal Haddon, Milo’s attorney, filed a brief last week that requests the court reject the plea bargain and also make available all records of communication between the District Attorney’s Office and Erzinger’s attorney Richard Tegtmeier, citing reason to believe the two had negotiated behind Milo’s back and a deal was reached without notifying Milo or his counsel.
“No plea disposition was reached prior to the morning of Sept. 7, 2010,” Hurlbert stated in Tuesday’s brief. “At the hearing on Sept. 7, 2010, the disposition was discussed on the record between parties and the court, but it was indicated as tentative because of no victim notification or contact had occurred.”
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