Dreion Dearing, the man accused of shooting an Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy, will wait another month to hear the charges against him. Judge Patrick T. Murphy agreed to postpone Dearing’s …
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Dreion Dearing, the man accused of shooting an Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy, will wait another month to hear the charges against him.
Judge Patrick T. Murphy agreed to postpone Dearing’s arraignment hearing until Sept. 27, giving his defense lawyers more time to review the volumes of evidence in the case.
Dearing was in court Aug. 9 to hear charges and prepare for trial and Murphy said he was reluctant to delay the arraignment hearing. Murphy said he keeps a letter from a mentor before him while he’s sitting on the bench, and the letter counsels “...Patience, patience, patience.”
“Under this unusual circumstance, I am going to grant a continuance,” Murphy said. “But be on notice: There will not be another.”
Murphy granted delays to the preliminary hearing before, from April 18 to June 12. That hearing was to determine if there was sufficient evidence to take Dearing to trial and Murphy ruled in June that there was.
Dearing faces four different counts of murder for allegedly shooting Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm on Jan. 24. He also faces a burglary charge, an assault charge and a charge of illegal weapons possession.
According to the arrest affidavit, Gumm and two other deputies responded to an apartment just south of the Thornton city limits in unincorporated Adams County at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 for reports of two males and a female assaulting another female.
The deputies saw a black male in black clothing walking along Edison Street who ran when deputies tried to contact him, according to the affidavit. They chased the man through Edison Street backyards and one of the other deputies said he lost sight of the suspect and then saw muzzle flashes coming from behind a shed and Gumm returning fire.
Deputies found Gumm face down with at least one bullet wound in his torso. He was taken to Denver Health Hospital and pronounced dead just after 8 p.m.
According to the affidavit, detectives and a police dog pulled Dearing from a treehouse behind a DeSoto Street residence about 8:30 p.m., noting that his description matched that given by Dep. Booker and witnesses to the reported assault.
According to the affidavit, police claim they found footprints in the snow matching shoes Dearing was wearing, a 45-caliber gun, a paystub with Dearing’s name on it and beanie hat in the area of the shooting.
According to the affidavit, Dearing said he had been drinking and he fell asleep and the next thing he remembered is “being drug by a dog and police arresting him,” according to the affidavit. He denied being in the apartment building and assaulting anyone and said he was unfamiliar with the area.
Murphy did consider two motions at the Aug. 9 hearing: A prosecution request to shield the names of witnesses from Dearing but not his lawyers and a defense request to limit police warrants investigating the case going forward.
Defense attorney Sarah Quinn said there would be little reason to keep the names of witnesses secret since Dearing has been in police custody since January. Murphy ruled to keep the names shielded, however, and said he did not see how it would hurt the defense.
So far, there have been more than 22,000 pieces of evidence for the defense to review, including phone records, video and photographic evidence. Quinn argued that her office was having a difficult time keeping up with the ongoing investigation. She asked to be warned each time a new warrant was issued.
“The ability of the district attorney and the police department to continually seek these warrants that are not filed with this court and then just show up in regular discovery means that we have no idea how to lead or investigation or to piece together all of the information that has been gathered,” Quinn said.
Assistant District Attorney Jess Redman argued that Quinn’s request was outside of her authority and Murphy said he would give Quinn time to show that it was a proper request. It was unusual, he said.
“The idea that before a search warrant is issued that we give them notice seems inconsistent to common sense and would hamper the investigation,” Murphy said.
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