14th Judicial District fills one opening, advertises for another | CraigDailyPress.com

14th Judicial District fills one opening, advertises for another

Bridget Manley

— The vacancy left by Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James, a 21-year veteran of the 14th Judicial District, was filled Tuesday.

Bonnie Roesink, 14th Judicial District Attorney, selected Carl Stahl, who hails from the Denver Metro area, as chief deputy district attorney.

Stahl did not return phone calls Wednesday.

St. James, who began working for the 14th Judicial District in 1987, was assistant district attorney until he left the position in May to serve as a full-time firefighter for Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue.

Elizabeth Oldham, former chief deputy district attorney, moved up to become the second-in-command for the District Attorney’s Office.

Oldham, a Republican, is running for 14th Judicial District Attorney against Tammy Stewart, a Democrat and assistant Moffat County Attorney.

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Stahl will take St. James’ place in the Steamboat Springs office. Tuesday was his first day on the job.

Stahl has about 23 years of experience in criminal law work, Roesink said.

His experience was what made him a strong candidate for the job.

“It was very difficult to get somebody with the kind of experience (St. James) had,” Roesink said, adding that St. James had worked for 29 years in criminal law.

“That’s pretty difficult to replace,” she said.

Still, Roesink said, Stahl also has a sizable amount of experience behind him.

Stahl “was in private practice doing criminal defense work right before he came to us,” Roesink said.

Stahl’s home base will be in the Steamboat Springs office, but he also will spend time in Moffat County as the lead attorney in a homicide case involving Craig resident Terry Hankins, Roesink said.

Hankins was charged with first-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death. He pleaded not guilty to the charge in March.

His trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

Nearly the same time that one vacancy in the Judicial District was filled, another opened. Ed Veronda, former deputy district attorney in the Moffat County office, resigned last week.

He took a position with the Ninth Judicial District in Glenwood Springs, Roesink said.

Finding his replacement could take time, she said.

“We’re working on it,” Roesink said. “We’re advertising.”

As in the case surrounding Stahl’s hire, Roesink said the ideal candidate would have experience – “the most I can find,” she said.

However, Roesink isn’t banking on her having that wish fulfilled.

“I may end up with a brand-new person,” she said. “It just depends on what we can get.”

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