The Denver Post
I'll keep writing about the case against Tyler Sanchez until someone in Douglas County speaks out about People's Exhibit #1.
Sanchez, 19, will face trial for a break-in and sexual assault that common sense and a motherlode of evidence suggest he didn't commit.
The system failed him when Parker police hauled him in last summer, ostensibly related to a string of burglaries in the Stonegate neighborhood.
It failed him again when — ignoring signs that he is hearing-impaired and mentally disabled— sheriff's deputies turned the questioning into a 17-hour interrogation about the unsolved assault. An 8-year-old reported being fondled by an intruder who climbed through a second-story window of her family's home in the housing tract a week earlier.
It kept failing him when prosecutors continued pressing charges despite serious holes in the case described by Judge Susanna Meissner- Cutler as "contradictions," "inconsistencies" and "speculations." Among those is the fact that the thin redhead looks nothing like the older, bigger, brown-haired intruder described by the victim. Oh, and that DA Carol Chambers asserts that nothing is proved by the fact that DNA analysis of the girl's panties — the key physical evidence — shows the profiles of two men, neither of them Sanchez. She also disputes that he is cognitively delayed.
The system further failed him Wednesday, when the judge ruled he must face trial based solely on a
single piece of highly questionable evidence. People's Exhibit #1 is an 11-sentence statement Sanchez wrote after detectives broke him down 37 hours after his arrest. Sentence by sentence, it parrots the detectives, echoing verbatim details they admit they repeatedly fed him during their interrogation.
"First when I got off work from a bad night I decide to go chill out and drive around in my car for a little while," it starts.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Friday, April 30, 2010
The Denver Post