Geoffrey Duzik found incompetent to proceed on attempted murder charges
January 16, 2019
CRAIG — A Moffat County court ruled a Craig man incompetent for any further legal proceedings Wednesday, Jan. 16, also increasing his bond to $200,000.
Geoffrey Duzik, appearing in court via video conference from the Moffat County Jail, was already incarcerated at the facility on a separate charge, when, on Nov. 10, he allegedly assaulted and injured a detentions deputy. The incident resulted in seven felony charges against Duzik — including one count of criminal attempted first-degree murder (a Class 2 felony), as reported Nov. 20 in the Craig Press.
The court ordered a competency evaluation for the first case, in which Duzik is charged with first-degree burglary (forced entry) of a residence, first-degree assault of a non-family member with a weapon, intimidating a witness or victim, criminal mischief, and criminal attempt. In December, the court determined the competency evaluation would be used to assess Duzik’s fitness to proceed in both cases.
Based on the findings of the evaluation, Moffat County Court Judge Sandra Gardner ruled Duzik incompetent and said he must receive treatment to restore his competency before charges against him can proceed, however he will not be released from Moffat County Jail.
Prosecutor and Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tjosvold and Duzik’s public defender, Abigal Kurtz-Phelan, declined to challenge the findings of incompetency.
The competency report, written after a Dec. 18 psychiatric evaluation conducted with Duzik at the jail, has been sealed by the court, but Tjosvold said the report indicates Duzik can be restored to competency with appropriate medication.
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Duzik’s treatment is expected to be provided within the Moffat County Jail by Mind Springs Health. Gardner said a provider is completing training to begin services Feb. 1.
Tjosvold expressed concern with the treatment plan, saying it was presumptuous to believe Mind Springs Health would be ready to offer the service in February.
In response, Gardner said she was “under orders” from 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael A. O’Hara III to try to “focus on local restoration,” due to a backlog of cases at the State Psychiatric Hospital in Pueblo.
“I would like to see Mr. Duzik attended to sooner rather than later,” Gardner said. “If ordered to Pueblo, he could be waiting in the Moffat County Jail for months for a bed.”
All parties agreed to a review hearing Feb. 19 to assess progress.
“If Mind Springs doesn’t happen at the end of the month, we will look at something else,” Gardner said.
At the request of Kurtz-Phelan, Duzik’s bond was reinstated, but increased from $105,000 — $5,000 for charges stemming from an alleged assault and $100,000 for the seven additional felony charges — to $200,000 across both cases.
Kurtz-Phelan objected to the increase, saying the bond requirements Duzik was already facing made it unlikely he would be able to secure his release.
The rapid escalation and violence alleged in the case prompted Tjosvold to request bond be set at $200,000.
“The defendant actively sought out a person on the sex offender registry and assaulted them,” Gardner said. “Then, attacking and attempting to kill a jailer … he poses an extreme danger to the community.”
She also noted the finding of incompetency indicated an increased flight risk.
“He’s local … he has posed no flight risk in the past,” said Kurtz-Phelan.
Duzik’s video conference appearance Wednesday was his second this week.
He originally appeared Tuesday morning, but said he had not been able to review the report arising from his competency evaluation.
He also said Kurtz-Phelan was not his lawyer.
He named another person, who was unknown to the court, Gardner said. She added that Kurtz-Phelan was Duzik’s attorney of record, and she was in the video courtroom to represent him Wednesday.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.