A Montrose man is suspected as an accessory to attempted second-degree murder.
Ricardo Olmos Jr., 26, was arrested June 3. He was advised of the class-4 felony allegation Thursday, during a court hearing that shed little light on the circumstances of the case.
Formal charges have not been filed.
The arrest affidavit is sealed, as is the motion to seal it and the order granting the motion, according to what was said in open court.
The District Attorney’s Office is keeping a tight lid on the case because of the ongoing investigation and, it was hinted at, safety concerns.
Details supporting the allegations were so sparse that the public defender’s office had to argue Thursday to be granted access to the affidavit, so attorneys there could competently represent Olmos in his upcoming bond hearing.
Deputy District Attorney Ian Fowler said the public defenders clearly would have a conflict of interest in representing Olmos, because of other individuals they represent and his involvement as a witness in another case. Fowler said it would be premature to unseal the case documents.
But public defender Chloe Bilodeau said Olmos has the right to counsel and to effective counsel at every step during proceedings. For purposes of bond, he will be represented by a public defender, and that attorney must have access to case information including the precise nature of allegations, she argued.
Olmos’ attorney deserves an “even playing field” with prosecutors, she said.
Further, it is the responsibility of the Public Defender’s Office to determine whether any ethical conflicts exist in representing Olmos, not the District Attorney’s Office, Bilodeau said.
Fowler said the public defender has provided effective counsel and that it is plain the office must withdraw from Olmos’ case.
“The matter is very serious and there are potential (dangers) to the parties,” he said.
Judge Kurt Beckenhauer ruled the public defender can have access to the affidavit, but is absolutely barred from discussing its contents or making such information available to other parties.
He then advised Olmos of the allegation against him, which, if filed formally, would constitute an extraordinary risk crime and crime of violence carrying between six and 16 years in prison upon conviction.
Beckenhauer also issued a protection order barring Olmos from interfering with two men.
Olmos’ bond hearing was set for today.
Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.