A Durango man accused of sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint in 2017 – a felony charge that carries a minimum of 16 years in prison if found guilty – is standing trial this week.
Devin “Ducky” Bond appeared in a courtroom Tuesday at the La Plata County Courthouse dressed in light-colored khaki pants and a checkered light-blue and gray dress shirt with trimmed, slicked-back hair to contest charges that he sexually assaulted a woman the evening of Oct. 14, 2017, with two other co-defendants.
James Thomas Zink and Anthony “Izzy” Israel Fitts pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and attempted sexual assault charges. A judge sentenced Zink to 14 years in prison and 10 years of probation. Fitts received six years in prison.
Both co-defendants are scheduled to testify on behalf of the prosecution, according to opening statements made Tuesday. An official list of witnesses has been redacted and can be accessed with permission only from District Court Judge William Herringer, who is overseeing the trial, court officials said.
Attorneys chose 14 jurors – eight women and six men – after a nearly day-and-a-half selection process. The trial is scheduled for one week.
Opening statementsDefense attorneys Brian Schowalter and Katie Whitney argued in an opening statement that Bond had consensual sex with the victim and that her allegations of assault to law enforcement after the fact were based on fear and later corrected.
“The defense asserts that (the woman’s) statement isn’t entirely accurate,” Schowalter said. “She told law enforcement: ‘I think I had sex and it wasn’t consensual.’ She’s not acknowledging her role.”
Prosecutors Jessica Kiel and Sean Murray suggested in an opening statement that the sexual encounter between Bond and the victim was consensual up until the point when Zink racked a shotgun. Kiel told jurors Bond continued to have sex with the woman while Zink and Fitts sexually assaulted her.
“When (the victim’s) life was threatened – (Bond) didn’t stop,” Kiel told the jury.
Schowalter played two pieces of media for the jury in his opening statement – a “butt-dial” recorded message sent from Zink the night of the alleged assault and surveillance footage from the Durango Skate Park after Durango Police made contact with Bond, Zink and the woman.
Schowalter encouraged the jury to pay attention to the physical evidence – videos and recordings from the night – rather than testimony, which has changed over time.
“The skate park video, the butt-dial message, the Wells Fargo ATM footage and the Conoco video; these are the only things you can trust,” Schowalter said.
Kiel showed a PowerPoint presentation to jurors with statements Bond and Fitts made to law enforcement after the alleged assault. The woman “had a look of pure terror on her face” when police made contact with her at the skate park, Kiel told the jury.
In an interview with law enforcement after the incident, Kiel told the jury that Bond, in effect, accepted sexual assault charges. When police told him that he’d be charged, Bond said “understandable,” according to Kiel.
Along with the two co-defendants, prosecutors plan to call the alleged victim, investigating officers and sexual assault nurse examiners to prove that Bond sexually assaulted the woman.
“This is a case about consent,” Kiel said. “How consensual sex turned to gang rape.”