Shocking “Willie Horton” Story Upends Attorney General’s Race

MONDAY UPDATE: Fox 31 reports (video to right):

Pop quiz, folks–you’re the sitting Attorney General of Colorado, and you’re running for re-election against the first real competition you’ve ever faced as an incumbent. What’s the absolute worst possible story that could come out the day after the state convention?

As the Denver Post reports:

Less than four weeks before Scott Kimball started killing people, then-U.S. Attorney John Suthers signed the order that transferred the habitual criminal and escaped convict to Colorado [Pols emphasis] and set in motion his ill-fated career as an FBI informant.

Suthers, now Colorado’s attorney general, does not have “any specific recollection about involvement in the case,” said Mike Saccone, spokesman for the attorney general’s office. He said Suthers was unavailable for further comment.

The document approving the transfer, which was recently unsealed by a federal judge, was signed by Suthers on Dec. 24, 2002 – just days after Kimball’s release from a Lakewood prison in a deal in which he promised to provide information about a murder-for-hire plot involving a witness in a drug case…

While out on the streets in 2003 and 2004, he murdered three women and his uncle, evading suspicion for years before the fathers of two of the victims pressed for a new investigation that unraveled his elaborate web of deceit.

The unsealed papers, in conjunction with other documents, raise new questions about the diligence with which federal prosecutors and agents looked into Kimball’s background before making him a paid “confidential human source.”

…Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, who plans to challenge Suthers in the November election and who prosecuted Kimball for the killings, said he was flabbergasted by the picture painted by the newly unsealed documents.

“This is one of the worst plea bargains in the history of the world,” he said. “To give this kind of guy with four prior felonies this kind of bond and freedom so he could go and commit these murders is unbelievable.”

…On Dec. 18, 2003, Kimball was released from prison “to actively cooperate with the FBI on the Steven Ennis matter,” according to a previously released affidavit. Six days later, Suthers and Timothy Burgess, then the U.S. attorney in Alaska, both signed the transfer document. In it, Kimball agreed to have his case adjudicated in Denver – where he had just begun work as an informant.

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure require that the U.S. attorney in each district personally approve a transfer for a plea and sentence.

You may recall the name Willie Horton from the 1988 presidential race between George H.W. Bush and Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. Considered one of the key moments that sank Dukakis’ already-slim hopes of defeating Bush, Horton had been released by Massachusetts prison officials on a “weekend furlough” when he committed further crimes including rape. Horton’s crimes and mug shot were linked to Dukakis at every opportunity, and seriously damaged him. Now it’s true those ridiculous photos of Dukakis in the tank didn’t help much either, but the successful linkage of Willie Horton’s story to Dukakis made Horton a household name for many years–and a lesson taught in political science classes around the world on how to successfully smear a political opponent.

That’s right–and Dukakis wasn’t even personally involved with Horton’s case. Dukakis didn’t sign any court proceedings transfers so Willie Horton could remain in his state, and Dukakis certainly never approved of setting Willie Horton permanently free to work for the cops.

And there’s another difference, too: Willie Horton didn’t murder four people when he got out.

Folks, we really don’t know what the campaign of Democratic opponent Stan Garnett plans to do with this, or independent groups sizing up the Attorney General’s race–our Sunday morning guess is that the Post and Boulder Daily Camera did the legwork on this story, and Democrats and their allies are just as surprised to read it as everybody else.

But if you don’t see a story with devastating political consequences for Suthers–who had better come up with an excellent reason for why he let this man loose in our state to murder four people, and right now–you’re pretty much blind. Suthers has been accused of political grandstanding, and ideological bias tainting his department, but this story cuts directly to the heart of his fundamental charge to protect public safety. This is much worse than anything Suthers has faced so far, and his feeble “no recollection” responses are like chum in the water.

And having Suthers’ opponent be the prosecutor who finally put this guy away? That’s just poetry.

UPDATE: Statement from Garnett’s campaign after the jump–says spokesman Charlie Brennan, “It was essentially a get out-of-jail-free card for a four-time convicted felon, alleged rapist and a man who escaped from custody in Montana following a conviction just two years before. On Christmas Eve 2002, John Suthers put his name to that document, setting Mr. Kimball free…[o]nly a few weeks later, Mr. Kimball would kill the first of four known victims in a murder spree.”


Press Release

Stan Garnett                      

For Our Attorney General                                                          

Tough. Fair. On Your Side                                              

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

May 23, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT: Charlie Brennan

(720) 383-0133

John Suthers’ Plea Bargain With a Serial Killer

The Denver Post published an article May 23 that tells a tragic story bigger than any political contest. More importantly, this story has important ramifications for voters deciding who should be the next Attorney General for Colorado.

John Suthers, then U.S. Attorney for Colorado, signed a document on Dec. 24, 2002, which officially transferred Scott Lee Kimball’s counterfeiting case from Alaska to Colorado. That transfer came with the understanding that Mr. Kimball, soon to be a serial killer, would be granted a plea bargain giving him sentencing leniency in return for his service as an informant to  the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It was essentially a get out-of-jail-free card for a four-time convicted felon, alleged rapist and a man who escaped from custody in Montana following a conviction just two years before. On Christmas Eve 2002, John Suthers put his name to that document, setting Mr. Kimball free, ultimately to be sentenced to just a $5,000 fine, time served and three years’ probation. Only a few weeks later, Mr. Kimball would kill the first of four known victims in a murder spree. It was a rampage Mr. Kimball, who called himself “Hannibal,” carried out while a paid informant working for, and purportedly supervised by, the United States Department of Justice.

When questioned about the matter by the Post, Mr. Suthers didn’t remember signing off on the deal, and said he would have “No Comment.” His lack of awareness of what he was signing, his failure to ensure that Mr. Kimball was adequately monitored, and lack of accountability now, is troubling. It merits more than a “No Comment” from a campaign spokesman.

Throughout the handling of Mr. Kimball’s case, the United States Attorney’s office, under Mr. Suthers’ supervision, repeatedly filed motions to close hearings and seal records, covering up case proceedings and denying the public a chance to know about problems they were experiencing with their “informant.” When the judge expressed concern about such secrecy, Mr. Suthers’ prosecutors said they were worried about safety – “Hannibal’s” safety.

Only when a Lafayette detective subsequently launched what started as a fraud investigation into Mr. Kimball’s activities, joined by the Boulder District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI, did authorities see the full horror and homicidal mayhem for which Mr. Kimball was responsible after he was freed.

Through the solid work of the above agencies, and the prosecutorial efforts of the team working under the direction of Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, Mr. Kimball entered a guilty plea Oct. 8, 2009, to two counts of second-degree murder, while admitting responsibility for all four murders for which he had been investigated. Mr. Kimball was sentenced that day to 70 years in prison.

“I am pleased that in this very difficult case we were able to reach a disposition that assures that Scott Kimball will spend the rest of his life in prison and that provides the victims’ families some measure of comfort,” Garnett said.

Approval by the United States Attorney for Denver of an extremely lenient plea bargain for Mr. Kimball – who had four prior felony convictions, had escaped from a 10-year sentence and had been described by a Montana judge as unfit for community supervision speaks to a management style lacking in focus. It shows Mr. Suthers was out of touch, not paying attention at a critical moment that, for the families of four innocent victims, will reverberate painfully forever.

Boulder County prosecutors secured a 48-year term against Mr. Kimball in December 2008 for theft as an habitual offender, and at the same time gave him a chance to plead guilty to one count of second-degree murder, providing he lead authorities to the bodies of the three murder victims whose remains had not yet been found: LeAnn Emry, Jennifer Marcum and Terry Kimball. When Mr. Kimball failed to produce Ms. Marcum’s body, that deal was revoked by District Attorney Stan Garnett May 11, 2009.  Less than five months later, Boulder County prosecutors won convictions and the sentence that will keep Mr. Kimball behind bars the rest of his life.

“I am incredibly proud of the work my office did to crack these cold cases, and lock up Mr. Kimball for the rest of his life in a manner that is acceptable to the victims’ families,” Garnett said. “Managing an office with law enforcement responsibility such as District Attorney, U.S. Attorney or Attorney General is all about priorities. And public safety must be the highest priority.”

Those seeking more information concerning the Kimball case are advised to consult the superb 15-part series “Free to Kill” authored by reporter John Aguilar, published by the Boulder Daily Camera. It is archived on the paper’s website.

For additional information, contact Charlie Brennan at Charlie.brennan24@gmail.com. Also, please visit the campaign website at Garnettforag.com.

110 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Littletonian says:

    I thought Pols had underestimated Suthers before, but now?

    The only way this isn’t the end of the line for the AG is if this story doesn’t get the play it would in a race like the presidency (which is where the Willie Horton comparisons fall apart – people won’t be seeing Kimball’s face on TV 24/7). That’s conceivable, but you’ve got to figure that if Garnett won’t jump on this, some outside group will.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      Suthers unleashed a murderer on our community. And he did everything he could to keep everything about this under a court seal. Unless Suthers can bring up some compelling reason for his decision, I think he should resign.

      And “no comment” and “I don’t remember” don’t count as reasons, they just are efforts to evade responsibility for his actions.

      • MADCO says:

        And not for the politics. For the failure to vette the guy.

        • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

          The law enforcement people are focused on using someone like Kimball to prosecute the crime(s) they are working on. By definition they tend to be blind to anything else the person may be doing. When Suthers’ approved Kimball being released on Colorado, he had a responsibility to supervise what Kimball was up to.

          Four people are dead and their families are devastated because of Suthers first failing to properly vette. Two accusations of rape – and that should have been taken into account. When deciding if someone should be released outside of their sentence, any and all info should be taken in to account.

          And second, where was the follow-up? When you let a criminal lose on the public, and his lesson is that if he talks enough he will not be punished for his crimes, then you need to be watching him.

          If Suthers drops from the race can the Republican party nominate someone else? I don’t want this to be political, and to not be political the GOP needs to be able to appoint someone else to run for the office. I would even be ok with the party being able to give the new candidate a starting donation equal to Suthers’ COH so there is no political disadvantage to his being replaced on the ballot.

  2. Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

    This could be a pivotable issue.

    • Cartesian Doubt says:

      It’s almost impossible for anyone in either party to be “tough on crime” when something like this happens.

      • RedGreenRedGreen says:

        after he granted clemency to a guy who went on to shoot four police officers.  

        • Middle of the Road says:

          he pardoned, since we are now completely off topic–Wayne DuMond who went on to rape and murder at least 2 women. There was ample evidence of DuMond’s prior violent behavior unlike the situation here with Kimball and Suthers.

          • RedGreenRedGreen says:

            The point is, these kind of things are major, major blows to law-and-order candidates. Any nuance gets lost when you’re talking dead bodies.

            • Middle of the Road says:

              which is entirely possible–I seem to be doing it quite a bit today on a variety of topics–but I don’t recall that this hurt Huckabee one bit. Not when he was governor and not when he ran for President. I remember being revolted at the background story of DuMond and the fact that this story never seemed to matter to the vast majority of the public.

              And my entire issue with Suthers, which I’ve probably said ad nauseam at this point, is not that he approved an early release so this guy could be an informant. It’s his response to the Denver Post and then his complete lack of one when he mingled with the unwashed masses on Saturday at the State Assembly. I find his reply unpardonable and cruel to the victims’ families. To pretend that this guy doesn’t even ring a bell for you? That’s just fucked up and I don’t have a more polite phrase to describe it.

              Anything would have been better than what he said. Anything. And pretty much nothing could have been worse than to flat out say you don’t recall having anything to do with this case. Nothing.  

  3. Middle of the Road says:

    for the other US Attorney, Burgess. After all, he’s now a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, appointed under Bush in 2006.

    Knowing how all Republicans on this site adore the Clear the Bench campaign, I’m sure they’d be the first to endorse removing Burgess. Oh wait, that’s right, it’s up to Congress to impeach and remove him. Whew. Lucky him.

  4. LakewoodTodd says:

    Is it too much to ask that our elected officials, some of whom presumably have advanced degrees and other credentials, be considered unfit for service when their memory goes? It has become such the common response that it is beginning to reach the laughable stage.

    Yeah, right, when a guy I released in hopes of advancing my career by getting some good info out of him kills four people, I didn’t go “Oh, shit.” Instead, I never thought about it again and so I don’t remember it now.

    I don’t expect any of us to know where we were on December 24, 2002 or where you had lunch that day. But if you signed the release for a felon who shortly after killed 4 people, that’s not a memory that would just disappear.

    • Dan WillisDan Willis says:

      It will be an issue in Nov.

      Typical voters who even noted this story now will have a hard time remembering it in Nov. unless Garnett/the Dems run ads reminding them.

      Then Garnett runs the risk of being labeled “mud-slinger”

    • Middle of the Road says:

      Kimball was just convicted last October, as in 2009. How could Suthers be unaware of it when it was such a huge case and only recently resolved?

      And less than a month ago, 48 Hours ran a one hour special called “Hannibal Unmasked” about Kimball’s killing spree. This isn’t exactly old news. Suthers response to this is just…lacking. In fact, it’s downright pathetic.  

    • BlueCat says:

      lawyerly, cover your butt hedging (specific recollection) than a memory problem. But the public isn’t all  that fond of such niceties.  Remember how well the whole “it depends on the meaning of is” thing went over?  

  5. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Timeline:

    * June 20, 1988 – First felony; At age 21, convicted of passing $1,139 in bad checks, Beaverhead County, Mont.; Three-year prison sentence deferred;

    * Oct. 4, 1988 – Second felony; for passing bad checks in Missoula, Mont.  Gets two-year deferred sentence.

    * March 15, 1989 – Third felony; one count of attempted theft in Broomfield; sentenced to 1 year unsupervised probation, $232 in restitution.

    * Dec. 8, 1999 – Accused of raping, kidnapping ex-wife at gunpoint, Spokane, Wash. No charges.

    * Dec. 18, 1999 – Again accused of raping ex-wife, in Spokane, Wash. No charges.

    * Jan. 27, 2000 – Back in Missoula County, Mont. jail, for violating terms of probation.

    * April 18, 2000 – Sentenced to prison in Montana, for 10 years, for violating probation on the 1988 Missoula County conviction for writing bad checks. At sentencing, the judge cites three opportunities for rehabilitation that were unsuccessful, labels Kimball impossible to supervise in a community setting.

    * April 4, 2001 – In midst of Montana prison term, is convicted of his fourth felony; three counts of forgery stemming from Oct. 1999 case in Spokane, Wash.

    * July 29, 2001 – Escapes pre-release center in Helena, ripping off gas station where he was working of cash and a truck. FBI resists county attorney’s push for arrest on escape charges.

    * August 2001 – John Suthers appointed U.S. Attorney for Colorado

    * Nov. 8, 2001 – Kimball is arrested in Cordova, Alaska,, for writing nearly $25,000 in counterfeit checks.

    * June 1, 2002- Transferred to Colorado/FCI-Englewood, after saying seven Alaskan inmates want to kill him for cooperating with the government on a murder plot, which does lead to two individuals’ convictions on lesser charges..

    * Sept. 4, 2002 – Kimball is activated in Colorado as a cooperating witness by FBI, he implicates others, including Jennifer Marcum, in a plot to kill two drug-case informants..

    * Dec. 18, 2002 – Kimball is released to cooperate on the alleged murder plot he has discussed with the FBI.

    * Dec. 24, 2002 – U. S Attorney John Suthers signs Rule 20, authorizing approving transfer of the Alaska counterfeiting case for plea and sentencing to Denver, facilitating plea deal for Kimball.

    * Jan. 29, 2003 – LeAnn Emry murdered, Bryson Canyon, Utah.

    * Feb. 17, 2003 – Jennifer Marcum is murdered. Her body has never been found.

    * March 10, 2003 – Formally accepts plea bargain on Alaska counterfeiting charge, at U.S. District Court in Denver

    * July 31, 2003 – FBI begins investigating the disappearance of Jennifer Marcum.

    * Aug. 23, 2003 – Kaysi McLeod is murdered.

    * Oct. 15, 2003 – At a hearing in U.S. District Court-Denver, the judge expresses concern about excessive sealing requests by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Government lawyer expresses concern about Kimball’s safety,

    * Dec. 1, 2003 – Kimball is sentenced on plea to Alaska case. His gets a $5,000 fine; three years’ supervised probation, and time served. At the same hearing, An assistant U.S. Attorney acknowledges Jennifer Marcum is likely dead. At the hearing, the same government prosecutor reports Kimball has been paid $20,000 as an informant.

    * July 15, 2004 – Kimball’s 10-year-old son suffers critical head injury; an investigation into whether Kimball had attempted to murder the child does not result in charges.

    * Sept. 1, 2004 – Terry Kimball is murdered.

    * Jan. 4, 2005 – John Suthers is appointed Colorado Attorney General.

    * Feb. 6, 2006 – Kimball’s arrest warrant is signed in Denver, alleging violation of probation.

    * March 16, 2006 – Kimball is arrested is arrested on the Denver warrant in Coachella Valley, Calif.

    * Sept. 29, 2007 – Kaysi McLeod’s remains are found in Routt National Forest, Colo.

    * Dec. 17, 2008 – Pleads guilty in Boulder District Court to one count of theft as an habitual offender, gets 48 years; also agrees to a memorandum of understanding to plead guilty to one count of second-degree murder, providing he can help locate the bodies of Marcum, Kimball and Emry. He will ultimately produce Emry and Kimball, but not Marcum – thereby violating terms of, and scuttling, that agreement.

    * May 11, 2009 – Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett notifies Kimball’s lawyers that Kimball is in breach of the proposed agreement, and not entitled to any further considerations.

    * Oct. 8, 2009 – Kimball pleads guilty in Boulder District Court to two counts of second-degree murder and admits to his responsibility for four murders in the deaths of LeAnn Emry, Jennifer Marcum, Kaysi McLeod and Terry Kimball. He is sentenced to 70 years in prison. The disposition is approved in advance by family members of all victims.

    • Earnest says:

      It states that Kimball was released before his plea deal was completed (prior to the transfer of his court case to Colorado, which means prior to the order signed by Suthers).  Was Kimball released on bail or something while his plea and sentence were still in the works?

  6. Automaticftp says:

    always 20/20.  So something that Suthers did as a matter of routine while running the US Attorney’s office that had tragic consequences is now going to “upend” the AG race?  Sorry, I don’t believe it will.  Mountains out of molehills comes to mind, especially when there does not appear to be a hint in the evidence that Kimball had any kind of violent history.

    I’m sure it will make good politics, but to implicitly suggest that Suthers somehow knew Kimball would do what he did and signed the transfer anyway is simply unbelievable and is the kind of thing that can boomerang.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      * Dec. 8, 1999 – Accused of raping, kidnapping ex-wife at gunpoint, Spokane, Wash. No charges.

      * Dec. 18, 1999 – Again accused of raping ex-wife, in Spokane, Wash. No charges.

      Apparently we differ on the definition of “violent.”

      • Middle of the Road says:

        Which indicates it wasn’t part of his record or public information until after the fact.  

        • bhusher says:

          It is a well-known fact that a person not charged with any violent crimes who has a lifetime record of crime including theft, counterfeiting, accusations of child abuse and rape and involvement in a  murder plot means that the person MUST be innocent. (sarcasm)

          Anyone who has spent any time working in the penal system would know that Kimball was NOT safe to be on the streets. My question is who was he ratting out that made it alright to put him back out on the streets? Regardless the AGs, DAs and judges should have known that he was a major risk to public safety.

      • Automaticftp says:

        Accusations are easy–they happen all the time.  

        I’ve prosecuted and defended cases like that.  Simply because someone claims something happened doesn’t make it so.  Without having the case file(s), we can’t determine what happened.  To pretend that Kimball had a “violent” history is to convict him, in effect, on the basis of much later actions simply because they appear to fit the pattern.  In other words, you’re applying 20/20 hindsight and assuming that the accusations were true, when an investigation by the police (or prosecutor’s office) in the area at the time found no grounds to file charges.  

        Innocent until proven guilty, unless it suits political expediency?  Evidently.

      • Laughing Boy says:

        Do you know how many ex-husbands are accused of sex assault or assault and not charged after thorough investigation?

        This is nothing.  There was nothing violent in his jacket before he was released.

        Nice try, Pols.  Maybe progressnowmakeadumbskitcolorado can get some props and get something hilarious and poignant front-paged?

        • You know – that he was the type of convict who was uncontrollable and likely to commit more crime…

          • Laughing Boy says:

            Would have been screaming like a mashed cat if some judge locked up a serial check-fraudster forever and threw away the key.

            Nothing to see here, people.  Move along.  Totally non-violent offender snaps after release and becomes serial killer. Not Suthers’ fault.  

            Seat stays R.  Suthers is smart to play the odds and bet on repeal of the worst law evah.

            • BlueCat says:

              He wasn’t black, like Willie Hornton, so we can expect an entirely diferent attitude from the right, can’t we? Now if the guy were an illegal immigrant or a Muslim, that might carry some weight on the right?

            • If someone is deemed incorrigible by the judicial system, with 4 felonies, attempted escape, etc. to back them up (and a competent review by a psych panel), then I’d be more than happy to see the guy serve extended time.

              This guy was released early on a special deal by the FBI, with Suthers signing off on it, knowing this.  Further, it looks an awful lot like his status as “informant” may have been a matter of his own ability to con the FBI.

            • ajb says:

              …if some judge locked up a serial check-fraudster forever and threw away the key.

              But that wasn’t the case, now was it?

              * Dec. 8, 1999 – Accused of raping, kidnapping ex-wife at gunpoint, Spokane, Wash. No charges.

              * Dec. 18, 1999 – Again accused of raping ex-wife, in Spokane, Wash. No charges.

              So even if we buy that he’s a non-violent offender, he’s not exactly trustworthy, is he?

              * Jan. 27, 2000 – Back in Missoula County, Mont. jail, for violating terms of probation.

              * April 18, 2000 – Sentenced to prison in Montana, for 10 years… At sentencing, the judge cites three opportunities for rehabilitation that were unsuccessful, labels Kimball impossible to supervise in a community setting.

              * July 29, 2001 – Escapes pre-release center in Helena, ripping off gas station where he was working…

              He’s clearly a chronic offender, not to be trusted on the street. Suthers turned him loose. And you’re telling us that was OK, because all he was going to do was steal more money from people.

              And that deflection to HCR? Classic.

              • Laughing Boy says:

                That this is nothing.  Simply participating in the repeal effort of ObamacareВ® should guarantee Suthers a win.

                Being accused of a crime, particularly by someone who has reason to do damage to you does not count as a conviction.  He had no other violent offenses – just accusations that weren’t deemed to be worthy, and most States are pretty aggressive when it comes to spousal abuse.

                Oh, and I’m a racist according to BlueCat because of this.  Just FYI.

                • ajb says:

                  but this is politics. :)

                  At the very least, this is an embarrassing diversion for Suthers. There’s no way for Suthers to put a positive spin on this – that much is clear from his responses. If this story gains any traction, it’s a real problem. There’s no good way to counter it, so I don’t think it’s “nothing.”

                  And no matter how “popular” Rasmussen says HCR repeal is, I bet that Suthers doesn’t trot that out unless he’s talking to a group of teabaggers. The entire effort has zero chance of success, which means it’s a big waste of money. Channeling your inner Don Quixote doesn’t win elections.

            • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

              What they did was totally throw out his sentence. As a law & order kind of guy, you should be upset that he was able to avoid serving the time the court sentenced him to.

              • Laughing Boy says:

                But I also know the lengths they’ll go to in order to get a solid murder conviction.  

                This guy was also a world-class liar.  Those homicide guys aren’t dummies, and he had them eating out of his hand.

                • From the looks of things, the US Attorney’s office (under Suthers for at least part of the time) tried to bury Kimball’s record and snuff out charges against him on at least one occasion.

                  Suthers wasn’t, from the looks of things, involved in “managing” Kimball on a one-time basis.  Rather, Kimball’s excesses kept coming back and biting the FBI and the US Attorney’s office in the ass.

                  For Suthers to say that he can’t recollect anything of the case is ludicrous and hurts his integrity as much as the decision to move this guy to Colorado and set him free.

  7. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    They’ve had a run of quality in-depth articles recently. Kudos to all involved on this – good job.

  8. Ralphie says:

    If nobody from Garnett’s staff accesses NCIC for a while.

    I’m just sayin’

  9. BlueCat says:

    The release strikes the proper non-hysterical tone letting the facts speak for themselves.  This does seem like pretty inexcusable lack of attention on Suthers part so there is no need to go over the top with accusations that he doesn’t care if people get murdered. He apparently was just doing a really crappy, lazy job.  Segue to Garnett doing a really good job. No need to engage in hyperbole.  Very nice.  

  10. marindenver says:

    And having Suthers’ opponent be the prosecutor who finally put this guy away? That’s just poetry.

    I’m really looking forward to Garnett’s acceptance speech in November.

  11. GOPwarrior says:

    And none of your knew John Edwards was a twisted adulterer. Amazing.

  12. bluemountains says:

     Is a stand up Guy. He was framed by a one handed man for the murder of his wife. The pharmaceutical company he worked for was trying to pull something shady.

    What a colorful family

  13. ScottP says:

    Let’s discount the fact that Kimball went on to kill at least 4 people and focus on the info Suthers had when the decision was made to release Kimball on a plea. Garnett’s press release hits the nail on the head with this part:

    Approval by the United States Attorney for Denver of an extremely lenient plea bargain for Mr. Kimball – who had four prior felony convictions, had escaped from a 10-year sentence and had been described by a Montana judge as unfit for community supervision speaks to a management style lacking in focus.

    That does not sound like a good candidate for a plea bargain. Especially when you read the “Plea Agreements-Considerations to be Weighed” section of the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.

    I think Garnett held back when mentioning the 2002 judgment by the Montana judge on Kimball’s probation violation. He could have really gone after Suthers with this quote:

    Because of the Defendent’s character and attitude, the Defendent is likely to commit another crime.

    You can find a link to the judgment here.

  14. ScottP says:

    From the Fox31 site:

    The Suthers campaign issued a statement, saying “”Stan Garnett’s comments on this issue reek of political opportunism. Playing politics and sensationalizing a complicated legal matter in order to score political points is not the kind of behavior the people of Colorado are looking for in their Attorney General.”

    It’s not really that complicated.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado (Suthers’ office) entered into a plea deal with Kimball on his check fraud case out of Alaska so he could assist in the murder-for-hire case involving Marcum and Ennis. Instead of helping, he killed people.

    I’d say that’s important information the people of Colorado would want to know.

  15. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    Suthers signed the papers himself.

    Garnett prosecuted the guy later.

    Wow. Amazing.

  16. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    Bullshit. Just BULLSHIT.

    I don’t know what angers me more: Suthers’ lackadaisical attitude about this, or his transparent lying in saying he didn’t remember it.

    I would think as soon as Suthers heard that this piece of shit that he set free had murdered people, Suthers was praying and hoping that the papers HE PERSONALLY SIGNED approving the release would never be unsealed.

    Suthers has probably been thinking about Kimball every day of his political life since then.

    This is like Scott McInnis “not remembering” that he was on the advisory board of Republicans for Choice. You’ve gotta know, Scottie has been fretting since he was thinking of this candidacy whether that position would come back to haunt him in a Republican primary if not the November election.

    How stupid do these people think we are, anyway?  

  17. Middle of the Road says:

    but if this article is factual, there were a whole lot of people keeping details to themselves about this guy and that includes the FBI, federal prosecutors who it seems did not fully inform the judge and possibly some serious ball dropping between agencies and states.

    Did anyone even know about the judge’s remarks in Montana? Or about Kimball’s prison break?

    In 2000, for example, a federal judge in Montana, in a stern ruling, determined that Kimball was “impossible to supervise in a community setting” and concluded “you’re irresponsible, untruthful and simply do what you want to do regardless of the rules and conditions imposed by this court.” And in 2001, he had escaped from a low-security Montana prison.

    If anybody had given the full picture on this guy, I find it hard to believe he would have been approved. Due diligence was pretty much ignored with this guy before the FBI made him a paid informant.

    It is not clear what Suthers was told about Kimball’s background – he had four prior felonies – or whether he was made aware of the plans to turn him loose to act as an informant.

    If Suthers did have the majority of this information, such as the judge’s ruling in Montana, then he should lose his job over this. And he’s not the only one.

  18. BlueCat says:

    But he and his brother do great with indies and nice size chunks of Republicans, even those who don’t vote for any other Dems. I know many Rs who made an exception to vote for Ken Salazar because they thought so highly of him. He’s going to have some tough sledding with the oil spill, but sleazebag?  Probably a minority view here in Colorado.

  19. sxp151 says:

    Used to indicate that the entire substance of the comment is already there in the subject line, either for convenience of the reader (so that if you’re reading comments via the left sidebar or in your “replies” section, you don’t have to bother clicking on them) or to emphasize that the absence of text was not an accident of premature posting.

    Wish I were sleeping.

  20. BlueCat says:

    It’s on Fox.  Although they certainly didn’t attack the way they would have if Suthers were a Democrat, but still…  

  21. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    In the sense that I think she is a fine prosecutor.  Yes, the Post has a jihad against her, but unsure if that would help or hurt;-)

    Carol is termed out in two years.  When I asked her if she was interested in running for AG in 2014, she said she was more interested in running for Gov. then.

      Now, that would be an interesting race.

  22. BlueCat says:

    Won’t do him much good in the election. Awwww…

  23. Middle of the Road says:

    is his initial response.

    Suthers, now Colorado’s attorney general, does not have “any specific recollection about involvement in the case,” said Mike Saccone, spokesman for the attorney general’s office. He said Suthers was unavailable for further comment.

    This is case is too recent and too much in the headlines to issue a statement that says you don’t even remember this guy or your involvement in this case. I don’t think Suthers, the FBI, the judge or fed prosecutors had any idea what this guy would do–his history is primarily one of fraud, so I am not faulting anybody for initially cutting a deal with this guy to be an informant.

    Where I done hearing people make excuses for Suthers is in regards to his initial reply to this. If I were him, I’d think about this case every single day for the rest of my life. And I don’t think I’d sleep very well at night.

    To suggest he doesn’t even remember being a participant in the release of someone who turned out to be a serial killer stretches all credibility and imagination.

  24. BlueCat says:

    My comment above is a response to Golden Eye but it’s hard to tell isn’t it?

  25. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    at Mort Marx’s party.  That was before Ritter withdrew and Hick got in, etc.

      I know she felt the playing field for AG is limited.  She’s also a fairly strong feminist — in a good way — and would love to be the first woman to break the glass ceiling in the gov’s office.  

      I think she is a far better DA than most people know.  Yes, she’s “tough on crime” =like other das run as “soft on crime?”  But talk to her about such things as juvenile diversion programs and you will find a very intelligent, sensitive, woman who very much wants to make a difference, especially by intervening with youths who can yet be saved from a life of crime.  

  26. Cartesian Doubt says:

    But then again, he was probably in the early stages of Alzheimer’s at the time.

    The fact that Suthers’ office said he was “unavailable for further comment” speaks to his integrity. If I was involved in anything remotely as damaging as this, I’d want to tell my part in it to at least minimize the fallout. By ignoring it, Suthers gives us the finger and says “my business is none of your business.”

  27. ajb says:

    There’s no good explanation. There’s no positive spin.

    He just wants the story to die, the sooner the better. If he opens his mouth, that’s one more front-page story.

  28. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Which at a minimum includes taking responsibility for his part in this and apologizing to the families of the victims.

  29. Cartesian Doubt says:

    Optimistic, but nice.

  30. ajb says:

    when he declared that “empathy” was a positive value. Don’t expect a public display from Suthers.

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