A Craig man who is accused of choking his wife may now be able to get out of jail after the woman testified in court Tuesday that police and emergency workers took an alleged domestic dispute "out of context."
Moffat County Court Judge Mary Lynne James reduced a $50,000 bond for Albert Paroli, 52, to $5,000 during a hearing. He appeared via videoconference from the jail.
Paroli's wife told the court that she didn't literally mean that her husband "would kill her," when police arrested the Craig man March 23. She testified that she meant that her husband might be upset after a commotion ensued when police and emergency workers responded to a 911 call about an alleged domestic dispute at the couple's house. The woman testified that the two had gotten into a scuffle and her husband called 911 after she first threatened to make the call.
The woman testified that she merely yelled "help" into the phone, but District Attorney Bonnie Roesink said in court that the woman said she was being choked, according to a recording of the phone call.
The woman also testified that she was inebriated and that her husband also had been drinking and was on pain medication during the alleged incident.
"I stressed that I was fine (to emergency workers) at least 10 times," the woman testified. "(The police officer) only took the report he wanted to take."
The husband subsequently was charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault causing injury with a deadly weapon.
Although testimony included three witnesses and six letters of support of the woman's husband, James said that circumstances surrounding the incident typically would raise concerns among prosecutors. She said it appeared to be an "alcohol-fueled incident."
"It would indeed be what the Legislature and prosecutors intended with mandatory arrest law," James said.
Colorado law dictates that police officers are required to arrest the predominate aggressor in domestic violence calls.
Paroli's lawyer, Heather Turner, said she testified in support of that legislation, but this case was one in which the "pendulum has shifted."
"I've worked with thousands of domestic violence incidents, but this is not one," Turner said.
Friends of the accused man, who had taken the stand in his defense, indicated after the hearing that they would be able to release the jailed man because of the bond reduction. A preliminary hearing is scheduled April 14.
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org