Vail murder trial scheduled for September |

Vail murder trial scheduled for September

Dominique Taylor/Vail Daily file photoSuspect Richard Moreau, center, is searched by Vail police before being taken away following a fatal shooting at the Sandbar in West Vail on Nov. 7.

VAIL, Colorado – The trial of Richard “Rossi” Moreau, who is accused of shooting to death a man in Vail bar, is set to begin Sept. 20.

District Judge R. Thomas Moorhead blocked off two weeks for the trial during a hearing Monday.

Moreau, 63, of Vail, faces one count of first-degree murder and seven other felonies in a Nov. 7 shooting at the Sandbar in West Vail. Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of life in prison without parole. Gary Bruce Kitching, 70, a part-time Carbondale physician, was killed in the shooting, and three other people were injured.

Moreau is expected to enter a plea at the next hearing, on May 28. Attorneys for Moreau declined to allow him to enter a plea at Monday’s hearing, saying they had more investigating to do.

“We have retained an individual who has met with Mr. Moreau,” public defender Dana Christiansen told the judge. “That individual has stated that a further analysis trained in a particular area of emphasis is necessary to fully flesh out some of the issues raised by the initial meeting. We have contacted someone who can do that.”

That person can’t meet with Moreau until early May, Christiansen said.

If the defense were to make a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity or impaired mental condition, they would have to enter that plea at the time of the arraignment, or show “good cause” for that plea if it is made at a later date.

“We are not at a stage yet where we can ascertain whether, for Mr. Moreau, that is the avenue where we’re going to proceed or not,” Christiansen said.

In the motions hearing Monday, Moorhead reserved judgment on several motions in the case, saying it was premature to rule on them. They included motions by the defense to suppress Moreau’s medical records and a motion by prosecutors that Moreau’s alleged post-traumatic stress disorder is irrelevant.

Moreau, a Vietnam veteran, has allegedly made comments to police that the shooting was related to the disorder.

In other motions, defense lawyers were seeking a new bond hearing. Prosecutors say it already occurred in conjunction with the Jan. 27-28 preliminary hearing. Moorhead asked the defense for more information on why a new hearing would be necessary.

Moreau is being held without bond at the Eagle County Jail.

Moorhead also denied a defense motion to suppress test results from hair, bucal and urine samples taken from Moreau. Prescription drugs were found in Moreau’s system, according to those results, Vail Police Detective Jessica Mayes testified Monday.

A motion to limit pretrial publicity was also denied Monday.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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