Jury Reaches Verdict in Lawyer Trial
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A Mesa County jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Trooper Ivan Lawyer.
After a week long trial and over a day of deliberation the jury found Lawyer not guilty of the charges of negligent homicide, trespass, prohibited use of a weapon and criminal mischief. Although it's a small victory for Ivan Lawyer, the trial may not be over.
The jury was unable to reach a decision on two of the counts, which included reckless assault and illegal discharge of a firearm.
Despite the not guilty verdict on four of six charges, Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger says he is satisfied with the decision.
"I'm completely fine with the four not guilties. Twelve Mesa County jurors felt that way and I respect that. It's the way the system should work and I have no problem with that. I would have liked the whole thing to have been over, but we will have to see what's the right thing to do with the remaining two counts, and I can't say that yet," explained Hautzinger.
Both prosecuting and defense lawyers will meet with members of the jury to discuss why a decision was not reached on the two counts. At that time, the DA will decide whether or not they will pursue those charges in a retrial.
A decision on that is expected to be made later in May.
Officials with the Colorado State Patrol say in light of the jury's findings, they'll conduct an administrative review to address Ivan Lawyer's job status, according to state personnel rules.
Lawyer was accused of fatally shooting Redlands resident Jason Kemp while investigating a possible DUI incident.