Defense: Allegations fabricated
Day 1 of kidnapping trial ends with
December 17, 2008
Craig — A Craig woman’s allegations against a 32-year-old man are the fabrications of a scorned drug addict seeking payback, the man’s attorney said Tuesday in Moffat County District Court.
“You’re going to see,” Steamboat Springs attorney Kris Hammond said, “there is so much mud in the water : that you can’t even be sure it’s water anymore.”
Hammond is representing James Barry, who faces several felony charges in connection with an alleged kidnapping and assault in September 2007.
The defense attorney’s words came on the first day of Barry’s trial, which is scheduled to end Friday.
Barry is charged with second-degree kidnapping, a Class 2 felony, conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping, a Class 3 felony, and second-degree assault, a Class 4 felony, among others.
Prosecutors allege he and two others took the alleged victim against her will and assaulted her. The alleged assault included the victim being strangled with a ligature device, prosecutors said.
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A third person also assaulted the victim, prosecutors said, but in a separate, earlier incident.
After selecting a jury – seven women and six men were chosen to serve as the 12 jurors and an alternate – attorneys in the case made opening statements late Tuesday afternoon.
Hammond said his client had lived with the alleged victim, but he had thrown her out. Her story of being kidnapped and assaulted by Barry and the others isn’t consistent with the evidence, he said.
“All they have is (the victim’s) story, and (the victim) is a scorned woman,” Hammond said.
He added, “This story, this fable : is just that, it’s a complete fabrication.”
Jeremy Snow, deputy district attorney for the 14th Judicial District, used his opening statement to describe a frightened and brutal night for the alleged victim at the hands of Barry and the others.
Admittedly, the victim was a drug addict, and someone who was “not the best Craig had to offer,” Snow said.
However, what she went through is “something that no human should have to go through,” he said.
Snow said the victim was taken to a deserted county road, forced to strip, repeatedly struck with punches and kicks and strangled around her neck, to the point that she feared for her life.
“She thought that, ‘When I black out, I’m not coming back,'” Snow said about the victim.
Barry and the others also threatened her life and her family’s lives if she reported the incident to authorities, Snow said.
The prosecutor summed up the case:
“In the end, facts will show Mr. Barry is guilty as charged,” Snow said.
The three others who allegedly helped Barry – Steven Casias, Ramona Brassard and Megan Crook – have pleaded guilty to charges in connection to the case, and been sentenced to either prison or jail.
The trial is scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. today when the prosecution will begin presenting its case.