A district court judge decided Tuesday to detain a 16-year-old boy in connection with the shooting death of 32-year-old James Calvin Pogline.
Pogline suffered a gunshot wound to the head at the Timberglen Apartments on Friday night and later died.
Judge Paul McLimans determined, after hearing testimony from Craig police and Moffat County sheriff's authorities, that the juvenile is a danger to himself and the community. McLimans ordered the youth to be detained at the Grand Mesa Division of Youth Corrections in Grand Junction.
The juvenile is facing a felony charge of possessing a dangerous weapon and was arrested Friday. Authorities have not filed charges directly related to the shooting.
According to court testimony by police, the juvenile admitted in an interview spoken in Spanish with a "fluent" Immigration and Naturalization Services agent that he had in his possession a sawed-off "short" .22-caliber rifle and that he had shot the weapon Friday night.
The youth was arrested in Craig that night, after a Colorado State Patrol trooper pulled over the Chevy S-10 he was driving for a violation of a burned-out tail light. Two passengers were in the vehicle.
Trooper Marty Smith noticed a rifle in a cargo compartment in the back seat. After obtaining a search warrant, police removed a rifle described as having a sawed-off stock and barrel, and a red tip, said Lt. John Forgay of the Craig Police Department.
Investigators also found a handgun in the vehicle, he said.
Forgay said he did not participate in the interview, but he had listened to a recording of it.
Craig police officer Cory Wagner said in court that he participated in the interview because he knows some Spanish but said he's "not fluent." Wagner said that the juvenile's admission to possessing and firing the rifle was related to being shown a picture of the rifle that police took with a digital camera.
A Spanish interpreter assisted at Tuesday's hearing. The youth's father also was at his side.
Kristopher Hammond, the juvenile's attorney in the case, questioned how police could be sure that his client admitted to having the gun in his possession by being shown a photograph if no local police officers spoke fluent Spanish.
"I don't know what he said when he was shown the photo," Wagner said in response to Hammond's questioning.
In the final arguments Hammond said, "It seems like the state is connecting dots that are too far apart.
"It's unclear exactly what he admitted to," he added.
Hammond asked that the juvenile be granted an opportunity to make bail and stay with his family.
McLimans ruled otherwise.
"His conduct has created a situation that may pose danger to himself," the judge said. "The admission of firing into a building certainly poses a danger to the community."
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.