Jury yet to reach verdict in the sexual assault trial of Justin Erwin
EAGLE—It was a relatively quiet and uneventful day at the Eagle County Justice Center on Tuesday, as interested parties in the trial of Justin Cayce Erwin waited in vain for a verdict that never came.
Erwin, 42, is one of four men accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Silverthorne apartment on St. Patrick’s Day in 2016. After a week long trial—which saw testimony from the accuser, her former boyfriend, and a number of expert witnesses and law enforcement officials—the jury finally began deliberation late Monday afternoon.
But after more than eight hours of deliberation no decision had been reached. The breadth of charges brought against Erwin can, at least in part, explain the jury’s deliberate pace in their considerations. Erwin is charged with 20 counts in total, including 12 counts of sexual assault, three counts of unlawful sexual contact, four counts of invasion of privacy for sexual gratification and one count of conspiracy to commit invasion of privacy for sexual gratification.
At about 4:15 p.m. the jury, comprised of eight females and four males, asked to be dismissed for the day, saying that everyone was emotionally drained after hours of poring over the evidence.
“I’m sure that it’s not an easy task you’re undertaking,” Judge John McMullen told the jury as he released them for the day.
Deliberations will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
The jury’s decision in the case will represent the completion of the third-of-four cases stemming from the alleged sexual assault more than two years ago. Paul Garvin was convicted of a Class 2 sexual assault in Summit County District court in October, and was sentenced to prison for a minimum of 16 years. Michael Gelber pleaded guilty to a reduced felony charge and two misdemeanors in June rather than go to trial. Ramon Villa, whose apartment the alleged assault took place in, pleaded not guilty to felony charges in December. Villa’s trial is scheduled to take place in Eagle County from September 4-14.
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