Chase Suspect’s Trial Won’t Start Anytime Soon
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4)– A chase suspect who led dozens of officers on a 75-mile chase along the Front Range won’t go to trial anytime soon.
Ryan Stone faces a long list of criminal charges, 26 in all, in connection with the March 12 chase. Those charges include attempted murder and kidnapping.
Attorneys now are raising the question of his competency.
“Competency is the idea that, for some reason, unrelated to what took place at the alleged events, you lack the ability to understand and perceive the nature of what you’re going through in the courtroom,” said George Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District.
Stone, 28, is accused of dodging law enforcement officers in several counties from Longmont to Lone Tree.
He allegedly struck Colorado State Patrol Trooper Bellaman Hee while trying to put tire-puncturing spikes in the path of the stolen vehicle during the high-speed chase.
Stone is also accused of stealing an SUV with a 4-year-old boy inside and abandoning it later. The boy wasn’t physically harmed.
The court agreed to a competency evaluation which will occur at the state hospital in Pueblo. At the very least that means a delay to the start of his trial.
“The practical consequence of that is that it probably creates a 45 to 60 day delay while that issue is resolved,” said Brauchler.
That delay could be longer if the hospital rules that Stone lacks competency.
Brauchler said if a delay ensures due process, it’s worth it, “It doesn’t make any sense for us to rush to judgment. If there’s an issue like this that needs to be investigated, I’m all for investigating it,” said Brauchler.
Stone had a hearing scheduled for the end of the month but that has been cancelled. He will be back in court for a status hearing on the competency evaluation July 17.