Alleged Independence Pass hostage-taker verbally bashes victim in court
PITKIN COUNTY — A Colorado Springs man charged with terrorizing three strangers at gunpoint in July 2016 on Independence Pass lashed out at one of his alleged victims in court Monday.
“I’m sick of the victim’s lies,” Brolin McConnell said. “I don’t want to sit and listen to this bulls—.”
McConnell, 32, appeared in Pitkin County District Court because his lawyer has filed a motion to dismiss the numerous serious felony charges against him — including attempted first-degree murder — because McConnell’s due process rights allegedly have been violated.
McConnell initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, then changed his plea last December to not guilty by reason of insanity. District Judge Chris Seldin in January ordered a sanity evaluation at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, though officials at the hospital have repeatedly delayed the evaluation. That delay violates McConnell’s due process rights, according to his lawyer, Harvey Steinberg of Denver.
However, a CMHIP representative wrote in a letter delivered to the court Monday that McConnell would be transported to the hospital within weeks and that a report about his sanity would be delivered to the court by Feb. 8, a court clerk said Monday.
Steinberg again argued Monday that the charges should be dismissed. If Seldin does not want to do that, Steinberg suggested lowering McConnell’s $500,000 cash-only bond to a $50,000 bond, which he could post and report to the psychiatric hospital on his own.
Seldin did not rule on the motion to dismiss the charges against McConnell, but he allowed one of the victims to speak in court Monday. The young man said that if McConnell was released from the Pitkin County Jail, he would not feel safe.
“I would fear for my life every single day,” the young man said. “He chose us because we were the youngest ones he’d seen.”
McConnell then asked the judge if the victim’s statements were admissible in his court trial. Seldin told him they were not.
That led to McConnell’s statements about the alleged victims in the case telling “lies” he didn’t want to listen to anymore.
McConnell allegedly brandished two handguns as he took the three men hostage on Lincoln Creek Road on Independence Pass on July 26, 2016, and repeatedly threatened to kill them. He allegedly fired a bullet next to the head of one of the victims and another at his feet. All three were able to eventually run away from McConnell before he surrendered to police.
No drugs except a small amount of marijuana were later found in his blood. He faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of second-degree kidnapping and 10 counts of felony menacing.
The three victims in the case have filed a civil lawsuit against McConnell, a real estate broker, though that case won’t be adjudicated until his criminal case is finished.