A Parker woman who faces years behind bars for kidnapping and attempted murder says she fired at the victim because he beat her.
Wendy Brown became emotional at times during a July 17 motions hearing that centered on statements she allegedly made to officers in the minutes and hours following the New Year’s Eve 2012 shooting of Jerry Diesel. Brown’s public defenders filed motions to block prosecutors from using the statements during her trial, which is tentatively set for Aug. 19 at the Robert A. Christensen Justice Center in Castle Rock.
Brown faces charges of felony kidnapping, attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault against an at-risk victim, menacing, and four counts of attempted aggravated robbery. She pleaded not guilty in April.
Parker police officers swarmed a home on Hastings Avenue in the Clarke Farms subdivision after emergency dispatchers received a call of a burglary in progress with possible shots fired. The first five officers to the scene testified about their interactions with Brown, as did lead detective Shannon Brukbacher.
Kris Bryant, a sergeant with the Parker Police Department’s investigations unit who was the first person to respond to the shooting, said the first statement from Brown was that Diesel had physically assaulted her. She then said, “I shot him. I shot him in the back,” before repeatedly asking, “Is he alive?” Bryant testified.
Brown reportedly then pulled up her shirt to reveal the side of her abdomen in what the officers described as an attempt to show injuries allegedly inflicted by Diesel. All but one of the officers who took the witness stand said they saw discoloration, but did not believe it was bruising, with Detective Penny VanDenBerg saying there were no indications that the marks were fresh.
Brown was restrained after allegedly trying to follow VanDenBerg into the house as she checked on Diesel’s condition. He suffered wounds to the back. The nature of his relationship with Brown was not immediately clear.
Douglas County District Court Judge Paul King granted a defense request to impose a gag order, meaning court records are sealed and those involved with the case cannot speak about it publicly outside of a courtroom setting.
Many of the members of the Parker police force testified about what officer Trevor Nevins characterized as “spontaneous statements” from Brown, including one about a check for $6,000 that Diesel allegedly tore up in front of her before the shooting.
According to testimony, Brown dropped the names of department personnel and told Brukbacher and VanDenBerg that she knows them. She also reportedly called out for Gary Gerlach, a Parker police officer of more than 20 years, who acknowledged a friendship with Brown that started when he was the detective on a mid-1990s case in which Brown was the victim. Under cross-examination by public defender Ara Ohanian, Gerlach said there was a photo at the house where the shooting took place of him and Brown at a gun range together.
Brown also has served as a domestic violence counselor for the Parker police.
King is expected to rule on the defense motions during a hearing at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 7. He will likely set a new trial date then because of additional case discovery from new interviews with witnesses.