Prosecution responds to ‘Not Guilty’ Maketa verdict

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With a smile on his face, former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa left the courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

“We are just happy with the outcome, we thought it was great victory,” said Maketa as he walked out of the courthouse.

Maketa was acquitted of three of the seven charges; the other four charges involved extortion and criminal misconduct.

The verdict read that Maketa was acquitted of tampering with a witness/victim (class 4 felony); conspiracy to commit tampering (class 5 felony); and one count of first-degree official misconduct (class 2 misdemeanor).

The jury could not come to agreement on charges of extortion (class 4 felony); conspiracy to commit extortion (class 5 felony); and two counts of first-degree official misconduct (class 2 misdemeanor).

This verdict leaves some charges unresolved; Judge Larry Schwartz called it a partial mistrial.

“I can tell you we are disappointed in the not guilty verdicts but I respect and certainly honor the hard work that those jurors put into it. It was obvious they thought long and hard about each and every one of these charges and respect their verdict 100 percent,” said Assistant District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

Now the prosecution can decide whether they want to retry the case on those remaining charges. The DA’s office has not made a decision on how they will move forward.

“That’s a decision we haven’t made at this point there are a lot of moving parts, we plan to make that in the coming days,” said Hurlbert.

Paula Presley and Juan San Agustin, who were also allegedly involved in this same situation, also face false imprisonment and kidnapping charges. Those cases will go to trial this fall with the same prosecutors.

Note that those false imprisonment and kidnapping charges are the two charges that were dropped in the Maketa trial.

FOX21 asked a criminal defense attorney, Patrick Mika, who’s not involved in the case, to see if he believes pursuing a retrial could be successful.

He said that with three not guilty verdicts and a hung jury on the rest, that is a strong indication on how any other jury will feel about the same case.

Mika recommended that the prosecution look hard at whether or not they should use taxpayer dollars on a trial where the three main charges were acquitted.

The group will meet Monday, July 17 to decide if they will move forward with a retrial.

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