Pogline inquiry moving slowly

No charges filed in shooting death

Prosecutors and law enforcement officials remained tight-lipped about the Friday shooting of James Calvin Pogline at Timberglen Apartments. Pogline, 32, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and died Saturday at The Memorial Hospital after being taken off life support.

Two suspects are being held in connection with the case. An unidentified 16-year-old boy is being held for possession of a dangerous weapon and "immigration issues." Octavio "Alex" Chavez, 20, was taken into custody on an unrelated outstanding warrant.

According to Amy Fitch, chief deputy district attorney for the 14th Judicial District, investigators are working together to formulate a case.

Investigators from across the state spent the weekend poring over the facts, she said.

"At this point we don't have a case yet," she said. "We won't make the charges soon. We're more interested in getting it right, rather than fast.

"Everyone wants very much to vindicate the death, but we can't compromise it by talking about it," Fitch said.

Fitch said the District Attorney's office is treating the case as they would any criminal investigation. James Pogline had a history of felony charges in Moffat County but was out on bail at the time of the shooting. He was set to appear in court Nov. 2 for a pretrial conference on a case that included three felony charges including second-degree assault on a peace officer and two bail bond violations.

It was the same case that prompted Pogline to sue the city of Craig and Moffat County for $150,000 for "excessive force." Pogline said police shoved him to the ground, face down, causing him to chip his tooth and tear his rotator cuff after officers found him in an open field near Eighth Street during a Feb. 28 incident.

Drew Johnroe, Pogline's attorney in the civil case, didn't return phone calls Monday about the status of the lawsuit.

Some Craig residents wondered Monday whether investigators would fairly prosecute the case considering the long list of felony charges that have been lodged against James Pogline and his brother Steven Pogline.

Steven Pogline recently was sentenced to eight years in prison for attempted second-degree assault for breaking the jaw of a fellow inmate at the Moffat County Jail. The district attorney dropped charges stemming from six other cases against Steven Pogline.

"They gave him a bad rap," Craig resident Kristina Lingo said of James Pogline. "His last name, that's what got him in trouble.

"A lot of people didn't like him for his brother. But (James) was a very nice guy."

One woman who was on the scene soon after the shooting said the incident was the "sickest, saddest thing I've seen in my life."

The woman didn't want to be identified but lives at the Timberglen Apartments.

"I don't think (the assailant) should be treated any differently because it was James who died," she said.

"I just want to see that justice is served."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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