Preliminary hearing dates set for woman charged with murder | CraigDailyPress.com

Preliminary hearing dates set for woman charged with murder

Matt Stensland

Lucas Johnson

— Preliminary hearing dates have been set for the woman suspected of playing a role in the death of longtime Routt County resident Edward Zimmerman.

Kristen Johnson appeared in court Wednesday. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 28 and 29. Johnson’s husband, Lucas Johnson, has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 9 and 10.

The Johnsons have been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree burglary, child abuse, possession with the intent to manufacture or distribute more than 50 pounds of marijuana and theft. Lucas Johnson has also been charged with aggravated motor-vehicle theft. All the charges are felonies ranging from Class 1 to Class 5, with Class 1 being the most severe.

After the preliminary hearings, Judge Shelley Hill could decide to hear the Johnson cases together.

During court Wednesday, Kristen Johnson’s attorney, Leslie Goldstein, expressed frustration about the lack of information that has been turned over to her by the District Attorney’s Office.

“I’m baffled that I received information on my case from the newspaper,” Goldstein said.

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District Attorney Brett Barkey said the investigation into Zimmerman’s death is ongoing, and reports are still being completed.

“We don’t have anything else in writing at this point,” Barkey said.

What has been turned over to Goldstein so far is several affidavits that a judge ruled support Kristen Johnson’s arrest. Those affidavits are sealed, so they can’t be publicly viewed. Hill asked Barkey why the affidavits still need to be sealed.

“I’m extremely anxious to reverse that course,” Hill said.

Barkey said there were one or two more potential witnesses who needed to be interviewed. He said he was concerned about information being released because there were unique details about the crime that only the perpetrators would know.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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