Two jury trials are underway this week in La Plata County, one against a man suspected of sexual assault and another against a man suspected of burglary.
About 430 jury summons were sent to residents in the 6th Judicial District, which includes Archuleta, San Juan and La Plata counties. Only about a third of summons typically find their intended targets and result in people showing up as required by law – which means about 140 people reported for jury duty Monday, according to a judicial employee. (An exact count was not available Monday.)
Jury selection and opening statements were made in the trial against John Mulloy, who is suspected of burglarizing Pine River Pawn on April 13 in Bayfield.
Deputy District Attorney Reid Stewart said Mulloy and a New Mexico man discussed stealing a bike but ended up stealing four bikes and five handguns, worth more than $2,000. Mulloy provided bolt cutters and other burglary tools to break into the pawn shop, Stewart said. He also provided a garage where the bikes could be taken apart so the parts could be sold in New Mexico, he said.
In interviews with police, Mulloy admitted to much of his involvement, Stewart said. He was also seen on video surveillance at the pawn shop.
His public defense lawyer, Barrie Newberger King, said Mulloy stole three bikes, but that’s it. He didn’t return on a second trip to steal firearms, she said.
If true, that would apparently reduce the seriousness of the charges.
The trial is expected to last three days.
The second trial involves a La Plata County man who is suspected of sexual assault as a juvenile.
The incident happened several years ago, when the man was also a juvenile and the victim was a much younger child. The case took several years to come to fruition, in part because the alleged victim took several years to report the incident and because the case has faced many legal challenges.
A jury had not been seated as of 4:30 p.m. Monday.