Preliminary hearing takes place Wednesday for woman involved in officer hostage situation
October 20, 2015
The woman charged with taking two law enforcement officers hostage in March is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. today at Moffat County Courthouse.
Georgie Hand, 43, is charged with kidnapping and attempted murder after she and James Brent Damon allegedly held Moffat County Sheriff's Deputy Bhrent Shock and Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Manager Nathan Martinez hostage off U.S. Highway 40 east of Dinosaur near mile marker 10.
According to an arrest affidavit from Chief Investigator Doug Winters, the two officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle when they encountered Damon and Hand.
Damon and Hand disarmed the two officers, according to the affidavit, and held them at gunpoint for a short period. Damon appeared to be preparing to execute the officers when Martinez initiated a struggle to retrieve his gun.
Martinez was able to get his gun and fired a fatal shot to the back of Damon's head.
After the struggle, the two officers disarmed Hand and arrested her.
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On March 12, 14th Judicial District Attorney Brett Barkey announced Hand's charges: two counts of attempted first-degree murder, four counts of second-degree kidnapping, four counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of disarming a peace officer, two counts of felony menacing, one count of second-degree trespass-agricultural land and one count of possession of weapon by a previous offender.
Both officers were placed on paid administrative leave pending the Critical Incident Team's investigation.
A lab analysis would later reveal Damon had 1,000 nanograms per milliliter of methamphetamines and 86 nanograms of amphetamines in his blood.
"Blood levels of 200 to 600 ng/ml have been reported in methamphetamine abusers who exhibit violent and irrational behavior," the toxicology report stated.
According to court records, Hand stated both she and Damon used meth in the week leading up to the incident and that Damon used "two to three times a day, if not more."
Hand and Damon were wanted in several states for a number of other charges. In Colorado, they had warrants out of Chaffee County for allegedly breaking into numerous cars in late January.
The couple was also wanted in Mississippi on nationwide extradition warrants.
Judge Shelley A. Hill set Hand's bail at $500,000 cash or surety bond at a hearing April 7.
"I think she is a significant flight risk; in fact this whole situation came up because she and her confederate were currently fleeing," said former Assistant District Attorney Han Ng at the bond hearing. "To some extent, I think her actions were precipitated by intent to keep fleeing."
Hand is currently being held at Moffat County Jail.
At today's preliminary hearing, Hill will hear arguments from the state and from Hand and determine if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to trial.
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