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Colorado Court of Appeals to hear arguments at Silver Creek High School on Oct. 30, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DENVER – The Colorado Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in two cases at Silver Creek High School in Longmont on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, before an audience of students. The public also is invited to attend.

The visit is part of the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Courts in the Community, an outreach program the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals initiated on Law Day (May 1), 1986. The Courts in the Community program was developed to give Colorado high school students insight into the Colorado judicial system and illustrate how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. These are not mock proceedings. The court will hear arguments in actual cases from which it will issue opinions. The court generally issues opinions within a few weeks of the arguments.

The 22 judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals sit in divisions of three judges to hear cases. Judges hearing cases at Silver Creek High School are John Daniel Dailey, Robert D. Hawthorne and Craig R. Welling.

The two cases are: 

  • 14CA0474, People of the State of Colorado v. Kevin Roderick: Kevin Roderick has asked the Colorado Court of Appeals to review his conviction on a charge of menacing, for which he was sentenced to 45 days in jail and two years of probation. Mr. Roderick argues that comments the prosecutor made during closing arguments regarding his credibility were improper and violated Mr. Roderick’s constitutional rights. Prosecutors argue that the comments were allowed under the law and that they did not undermine the fundamental fairness of the trial. Mr. Roderick also argues the judge erred in preventing him from presenting evidence that the alleged victim had a habit of coming to work drunk. Prosecutors argue that the court’s ruling was correct because evidence of the victim’s drinking was not permissible under the Colorado Rules of Evidence.

 

  • 16CA1963, People of the State of Colorado v. Floyd Senette: Prosecutors have asked the Colorado Court of Appeals to review a judge’s decision to dismiss the case against Floyd Senette after the prosecution’s main witness failed to appear to testify during Mr. Senette’s trial. Mr. Senette had pleaded not guilty to aggravated robbery and menacing. Shortly before trial, the prosecutor told the court the victim, whose testimony was essential to the People’s case, had not responded to service of a subpoena, and the prosecutor could not guarantee the victim’s appearance during trial. The victim was not present the morning the trial began, and the prosecutor asked the court to issue a bench warrant for her arrest and postpone the start of trial for one week, which would not have violated Mr. Senette’s right to a speedy trial. Finding that there appeared to be no indication the victim would appear to testify and that Mr. Senette had already been in custody for a substantial period of time, the trial judge dismissed the case and prosecutors appealed.

The proceedings will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30, at Silver Creek High School, 4901 Nelson Rd., Longmont, CO 80503. A question-and-answer session, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the arguments in each case. At the conclusion of the second argument, the students also will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Court of Appeals judges.

There will be a limited number of seats for the public. Audio recordings from the two arguments will be available online within one to two days of the arguments at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Oral_Arguments/Index.cfm.

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