Moreau defense still awaits expert reports in Vail murder case
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Defense attorneys for Richard “Rossi” Moreau, the Vail man who will stand trial early next year for murder and other felony charges, asked for access to some of Moreau’s journal writings at a status hearing at the Eagle County Justice Center Wednesday.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said the prosecution has no problem with the defense reviewing those journals, which are currently being held at the Vail Police Department. Hurlbert called the matter a “minor discovery issue.”
Moreau, who is charged with first-degree murder and seven other felony charges stemming from the Nov. 7 shooting at the Sandbar in West Vail, is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 7.
The trial was originally scheduled to begin Sept. 20, but public defenders Reed Owens and Dana Christiansen filed a motion Aug. 11 asking to continue the jury trial until defense expert witnesses could complete their evaluations. Those evaluations are still incomplete.
Hurlbert said there was no update Wednesday as to how long the evaluations would take.
“We’re hoping it happens as soon as possible, in case we need to hire some sort of expert,” Hurlbert said. “I would hope he’d have something before the first of the year.”
The assumption is that the defense’s experts are mental health experts, although that hasn’t been said in court, Hurlbert said.
Hurlbert expects to have enough time to review the reports and potentially hire prosecution experts as long as the defense’s reports are available by the first of the year.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 5.
Moreau is accused of shooting Gary Kitching and three others in the Nov. 7 incident. Kitching, 70, of Carbondale, died from his injuries, which included shots to the chest, left thigh and arm.
Hurlbert decided in March not to seek the death penalty against Moreau, citing a lack of “reasonable probability” that the death penalty could be secured.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.