Alleged co-conspirators to face trial for police chase

Posted 8/7/13

A Douglas County Court judge found enough probable cause to put two men on trial for leading police on a chase that prosecutors say demonstrated …

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Alleged co-conspirators to face trial for police chase

Posted

A Douglas County Court judge found enough probable cause to put two men on trial for leading police on a chase that prosecutors say demonstrated their “extreme indifference” to the value of human life.

Judge Susanna Meissner-Cutler cited “overwhelming evidence” in her decision Aug. 1 to allow the case against Clifford “CJ” Galley and David Vasquez to go to a jury. The men are accused of leading Castle Rock, Douglas County and Parker authorities on a high-speed chase in February.

Investigators say Galley, the driver, rammed police vehicles and fired several shots at pursuing officers after they attempted to arrest him on a warrant for assaulting an officer. Prosecutors with the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office say Vasquez helped navigate Galley and should be held accountable for promoting or facilitating the commission or planning of a criminal offense. The alleged co-conspirators are being tried together.

Vasquez, 24, of Federal Heights, faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder, vehicular eluding, two counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender, two counts of violation of bail bonds and theft by receiving. Meissner-Cutler said she did not find sufficient evidence to allow three counts of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft to forward.

All 35 counts in the case against Galley were bound over to district court. Citing a 1991 case with similar circumstances, the judge said “the defendant firing from a moving vehicle” was enough to prove “universal indifference,” leading to her decision to find probable cause for the charges of criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder that the 23-year-old Northglenn man is facing.

Meissner-Cutler reviewed statutes to determine whether the charges that have been filed are appropriate in the case. She noted that the interviews with the officers involved in the chase were “incredibly compelling.”

Attorneys could not agree on a date for an arraignment, in which Galley and Vasquez will enter pleas, and scheduled a status hearing for Sept. 3. The case will go to Douglas County District Court Judge Richard Caschette.

Galley, whom observers said appeared apathetic to court proceedings a week earlier, became emotional during the latter part of his preliminary hearing, prompting a courtroom deputy to pass him a tissue. Galley had a handful of supporters Aug. 1, some of whom left the courtroom in tears while the long list of charges against him was read aloud. As he was being led from the courtroom in shackles, his tearful mother motioned for him to keep his chin up and said, “I love you, buddy.”

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