CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) – A CIA contractor involved in a fatal shootout in Pakistan will face trial on assault charges stemming from a fight over a parking space in Colorado, a judge ruled Thursday.
Raymond Davis, 37, of Highlands Ranch, was charged with felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct for the altercation outside a bagel shop on Oct. 1. He was accused of causing a vertebrae fracture and other injuries to Jeffrey Maes.
Davis’ attorney William Frankfurt argued that Maes injured himself when he allegedly tried to tackle Davis during the altercation, and disputed that Maes had a broken back.
Prosecutor Rich Orman argued that despite conflicting witness statements, he asked Arapahoe County Judge Susanna Meissner-Cutler to put Davis on trial based on Davis’ alleged admission that he hit Maes first, according to testimony during the preliminary hearing.
Meissner-Cutler noted that there’s “significant inconsistency in evidence that’s prime for a jury” to decide and ordered a trial.
Davis will be in court Jan. 30 to enter a plea. Davis is free on $10,000 bail.
Davis is the contractor who was held by Pakistan in January after he shot and killed two men he said tried to rob him. Pakistan released Davis on March 16 after the victims’ families agreed to accept $2.34 million. U.S. authorities have said the shooting was under investigation. Washington, D.C.–based U.S. Department of Justice officials on Thursday declined comment.
Before the hearing, Maes’ Washington, D.C.-based attorney Larry Klayman, served Davis with notice of a lawsuit filed in Douglas County District Court that seeks unspecified damages.
“Frankly, he has a predisposition for violence,” Klayman, founder of the conservative Washington, D.C.-based foundation Judicial Watch, said outside of court. “We want to know why he was set free.”
Investigators testified that the fight began when Maes said it was “stupid” to be fighting over a parking spot.
Davis told Douglas County sheriff’s Sgt. Brock Bowers that the alleged victim “had called him stupid and he hit him,” Bowers said. Sheriff’s deputy Derek Castellanos testified that Davis told him while being transported to jail that he first hit Maes with an open hand.
Detective Michael Trindle testified that Maes said that after Davis hit him, he felt as if he would lose consciousness and at some point fell to the ground.
“And he got up and tried to throw punches but they weren’t having any effect,” Trindle testified. “Mr. Davis was counting out the number of punches and said that he (Maes) was at three.
“And Mr. Davis said something to the effect of, ‘it’s all over, Bud,’” and the fight continued,Trindle said.
The altercation that ended with bystanders separating the two men, left Maes with abrasions to his forehead, hands and knees, and Davis with a ripped shirt and finger marks and handprints on his chest, according to testimony.
Investigators recounted conflicting witness accounts that included varying descriptions of both men in a face to face argument, Davis approaching Maes calmly or cursing and, one witnesses who said Maes appeared to be the aggressor and hurt his head on rocks or a curb when he tried to tackle Davis but missed.
Trindle testified that doctors told them Maes suffered a compression fracture of a vertebrae in the middle of his back, which is considered a serious bodily injury that resulted in the felony charge. Maes appeared able to walk without visible assistance at the court hearing.
Frankfurt argued that one doctor who examined the case during a follow up appointment called the injury a “deformity,” not a fracture.
“We feel very confident that if a jury gets to hear this the result will be very favorable to Mr. Davis,” Frankfurt said after the hearing.
Davis declined to comment after the hearing.
Maes said: “The conflicting stories are amazing.”
By P. SOLOMON BANDA, Associated Press Writer
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)