Public gets look at first Bryant documents
An Eagle County judge gave the public its first look Wednesday at documents in the Kobe Bryant case.
Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett released Bryant’s arrest warrant, his bond documents, and a judge’s order demanding that Bryant provide a “complete male sexual assault examination kit and his clothing.”
According to the documents, Clear Creek County Judge Russell Granger signed the arrest warrant on July 2 while in Eagle County as a visiting judge to hear cases. Bryant’s arrest warrant was filed with the courts on July 3.
In it, Granger ruled that “there is probable cause to believe the offense of sexual assault has been committed.” Granger also ruled that “reasonable grounds exist to suspect that Kobe Bryant committed the said offense.”
Granger’s arrest order said, “Detective Doug Winters, or any deputy of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, is ordered to take into custody Kobe Bryant.”
Bryant turned himself in at 7:15 p.m. Friday, July 4, at the Eagle County Justice Center. Sheriff’s Lt. Mike McWilliam is listed as the arresting officer, according to the documents released Wednesday.
Information from the criminal investigation, such as physical evidence, affidavits and witness testimony, was not released. Media attorneys Tuesday appealed Gannett’s ruling to keep that information sealed.
Wednesday’s release of documents also does not include any search warrants.
Local attorney Jim Fahrenholtz said items being searched for must be specifically described. Those items are not yet public, and won’t be until at least the Oct. 9 preliminary hearing.
“By also bottling up and keeping the search warrant from being disclosed, the judge made sure none of the specific items police were looking for were made public,” said Fahrenholtz.
Bryant is charged with felony sexual assault for allegedly raping a 19-year-old Eagle woman June 30 at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, where she was working. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
While the arrest warrant also includes a recommendation for a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment, it’s not one of the charges filed by District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.
“The prosecutor doesn’t want to let the jury compromise on a misdemeanor conviction and a $100 fine instead of a lifetime prison sentence,” said Fahrenholtz.
Kobe’s like everyone else
Among the items of interest mined from the documents is that the courts don’t accept credit cards or personal checks to post bond, not even from a five-time NBA all star. Because Bryant was arrested on a holiday when the banks were closed, July 4, he had to get a bail bondsman, just like everyone else.
Glenwood Springs bail bondsman Richard Jordan posted Bryant’s $25,000 bond. According to court documents, Bryant turned himself in at 7:15 p.m. Friday, July 4, and bonded out at 8:20 p.m.
Local attorney Rohn Robbins said the amount of bond is also a bit of a curiosity.
“Mr. Bryant is not much of a flight risk,” said Robbins. “He has no criminal history, and he’s a high profile public figure.”
On the other hand, said Robbins, it’s a relatively small bond for such a serious crime.
“The penalties for what he’s charged with runs to life in prison,” Robbins said. “It’s a serious crime and that’s a very small bond. To him, $25,000 is literally a free throw.”
Robbins pointed out that Bryant’s address was listed in the documents released.
“One of the fascinating aspects is that they released his home address,” said Robbins, “while Colorado law requires the alleged victim’s identity to remain sealed.”
They let Bryant’s address out without blocking it out. The documents did have Bryant’s Social Security number blocked out.
And for those looking to cash in by grabbing one of the original documents and selling on an Internet auction site, you’re out of luck.
“There’s nothing here signed here by Kobe,” Robbins said.
– A ruling by Clear Creek County Judge Russell Granger that there is probable cause to believe that a sexual assault was committed.
– That reasonable grounds exist to suspect that Kobe Bryant committed it.
– An order that Eagle County Sheriff’s Detective Doug Winters, or any other deputy, arrest Bryant.
– Granger’s July 2 order allowing Bryant to leave the area before July 7.
– An arrest warrant listing Bryant’s physical description, an order to bring him in without delay, listing the counts of felony sexual assault and misdemeanor false imprisonment, and setting his bail at $25,000.
– A document showing that Bryant was detained on July 2, pursuant to Granger’s arrest order. That’s when sheriff’s deputies questioned Bryant.
– Bryant’s bail documents. Glenwood Springs bail bondsman Richard Jordan posted Bryant’s $25,000 bond.
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