Newest stories first.
MoCo courthouse changes. Tomorrow a new judge will walk into the Montrose County Courtroom as one steps down. After 10 years of service, Judge John Mitchel is stepping down to enter private practice and Assistant District Attorney Jerry Montgomery is leaving the prosecutor’s office to fill the vacancy by Mitchel. Mitchel announced his retirement last year. And more changes in the Montrose Justice system are occurring as the District Attorney himself is facing criminal charges. Last week Myrl Serra publically announced his resignation. The Daily Press reports that the man chosen to fill in for Serra while his case proceeds won’t be taking office tomorrow after all; a judge’s order appointing Dan Hotsenpiller was rescinded Friday because Serra’s resignation created a vacancy that only a governor can fill. On top of that, Montgomery’s vacancy also leaves a void in the office. As of tomorrow, Montrose County doesn’t have a DA or an Assistant DA.
Source: Daily Press (Posted 6:01a Monday January 10, 2011)
Serra arrested , again. Seventh Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra was arrested again yesterday on allegation of harassment, protection order violation, and violation bond conditions. The Daily Sentinel reports that Serra is accused of contacting at least one of his three accusers in an ongoing sexual assault case against him. Serra was first arrested in September after being accused of victimizing several women who worked in the 7th Judicial District Offices. Local attorney Dan Hotsenpiller will take over the duties of 7th Judicial DA next month.
Source: Daily Sentinel (Posted 5:51a Thursday December 23, 2010)
Serra arrested, again (original post). 7th Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra was arrested today at his house by officers of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for violation of bond on certain protection orders. One of Serra’s protection orders specifies no contact between him and the 7th Judicial District office or facilities associated with the office. It’s unclear at this time how/what Serra exactly violated. The courthouse wouldn’t confirm if he’s still being held or whether he bonded out.
(Posted 3:59p Wednesday December 22, 2010)
Spot not vacant come January 10. While Myrl Serra remains the District Attorney, his restraining order and criminal charges are clearly not allowing him to perform his duties as such. Yesterday it was announced that local defense attorney and former prosecutor Dan Hotsenpiller has been appointed to fill the gap. The Daily Press reports that Hotsenpiller will take an oath of office January 10th and from that moment the governor is to withdraw the executive order declaring the office vacant. Serra was arrested in September on suspicion of forcible unlawful sexual contact, criminal extortion, and misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact. He appears in court in February.
Source: Daily Press (Posted 6:55a Friday December 17, 2010)
7th Judicial District Attorney to be tried on 7 charges. Myrl Serra appeared in a Grand Junction courtroom this morning, and is being charged with unlawful sexual contact, Class 4 felony; three counts of indecent exposure, with at least one of the three alleged victims having worked in the DA’s Montrose office; unlawful sexual conduct as a misdemeanor; criminal extortion, a Class 4 felony; and one count of official misconduct. Serra will be foreced under Colorado law to register as a sex offender if he’s convicted of felony unlawful sexual contact. Apparently the prosecutor tried to increase his $5,000 bond to $50,000, but the judge declined. Serra’s preliminary hearing will be February 11, 2011 in Montrose.
Source: Daily Press and Daily Sentinel contributed to this story. (Posted 9:53a November 3, 2010)
7th Judicial District Attorney submits DNA. The first person to submit a DNA sample under a new state law in Montrose County was the county’s district attorney. Myrl Serra was arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual contact, a felony, on September 30th. That’s the day Colorado’s Katie’s Law took effect, requiring all people arrested on suspicion of a felony to submit a DNA sample. Sheriff Rick Dunlap told the Montrose Daily Press that Serra was the first person comply with the law. Under the law, if no felony charges are filed, DNA samples are destroyed after a year. Details in the case have been sealed. Previous court records show that a woman who said she had dated Serra asked for two restraining orders against him but both were denied.
Source: Daily Press contributed to this story (Posted October 8, 2010 12:27p)
Update:: Many details surround the case of the 7th Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra, but one thing is for sure, he and a woman have had heated arguments and heated sex since 2001. The woman, Doris McCauley, was recently denied another restraining order against Serra. She was denied one in 2008. In both cases, judges ruled that she nor her daughter were in any danger. According to a timeline provided in court documents by McCauley, Serra and McCauley began dating in 2001 while she was still married. McCauley (according to documents) alleges Serra constantly harassed her after their breakups (via sending gifts and birthday cards) and on several occasions forced her to perform sexual acts (although she does agree, some other sexual acts were consensual). In several letters, over the years, McCauley tells the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, Serra himself, and his attorney in 2006, Andrew Peters, that she has asked Serra repeatedly to leave her and her family alone.
The arrest affidavit in the current investigation is sealed.
Serra was arrested last week and faces charges of unlawful sexual contact, indecent exposure, and official misconduct. He appears in court next month.
(Posted 12:34p October 5, 2010)
Update:: A restraining order sought against District Attorney Myrl Serra this year was denied. A woman filed a restraining order against Serra on September 20th. Restraining orders involving Serra that were sought in 2003 and 2008 were dismissed. The 7th Judicial District Attorney faces allegations of unlawful sexual contact, indecent exposure, and official misconduct. He’s expected in Montrose District Court at 8:30a November 3rd in front of Mesa County Judge David Bottger.
Source: Daily Press & Denver Post contributed to this story (Posted 11:55a Friday October 1, 2010)
Update:: 7th Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra is set to appear in court on Wednesday November 3, 2010 at 8:30a. First Assistant Attorney General Robert Shapiro has been appointed as special prosecutor in the case. First Assistant Attorney General Jean Woodford has been appointed to oversee the 7th Judicial District District Attorney’s Office.
Update:: 7th Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra has bonded out of jail. The Montrose County Clerk, Jodi Hanson has confirmed that. It’s unknown at this time when Serra will appear in court.
7th Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra is in the Montrose County Jail this morning after he was arrested by agents of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in connection with allegations of sexual and official misconduct. The 48-year-old was arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual contact without consent and with force or threats; indecent exposure and first-degree official misconduct. The Colorado Attorney General’s Office filed the case against Serra in Montrose County District Court today. The arrest affidavit is sealed. Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien appointed the attorney general as the special prosecutor for the 7th Judicial District. Under the order, the attorney general assumed prosecutorial authority in the district, which covers Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Miguel and Ouray counties.
Official release by the Attorney General’s Office:
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, in her capacity as acting governor, has appointed the Office of the Attorney General to oversee the special prosecution of Myrl Serra, the District Attorney for the 7th Judicial District of Colorado.
Serra (DOB: 11/14/1961) was arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual contact no consent with force or threats, a class-four felony (§ 18-3-404, 18-3-402, C.R.S.); indecent exposure, a class-three misdemeanor (§ 18-7-302, C.R.S.); and first-degree official misconduct, a class-two misdemeanor (§ 18-8-404, C.R.S.).
Prosecutors have filed their case against Serra with a Montrose County District Court today. The arrest affidavit for Serra has been filed under seal.
Due to Serra’s arrest, the Lieutenant Governor also has appointed the Attorney General as the special prosecutor for the 7th Judicial District. Under this executive order, the Attorney General will assume prosecutorial authority in the 7th Judicial District.
The 7th Judicial District covers Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Miguel and Ouray counties.
Source: Daily Sentinel contributed to this story (Posted 9:25a)