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11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office continues their silence as 1st-degree murder case remains in jeopardy

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Friday, 13 Investigates continued to press for answers as the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office was probed by District Judge Kaitlin Turner. The probe surrounds alleged discovery violations in the case against a Fremont County man accused of murder.

Joseph Tippet is accused of shooting his father, William Tippet, in the back of the head in January. He was charged with first-degree murder. But for more than two months, the defense alleges they only received one-tenth of the evidence from the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. 

Now, Tippet's defense team is asking for a reduction of charges from 1st-degree-murder to 2nd-degree-murder as a sanction for the conduct of the DA's office. It's a proposal Turner is now considering and is expected to rule on next week.

"Who is responsible?" It's a question that Turner asked attorney David Little, the prosecuting attorney on the case, asking for an explanation for failing to meet the mandatory 21-day deadline for handing over evidence to the defense.

Little alleges that the DA's office is unaware of what kind of pattern and practice of violations Tippet's defense attorney was alleging in various court documents. As Judge Turner asked further questions, Little admitted that there are issues in the office, but would not specify what specifically is causing the alleged violations.

Little did say that he, and other attorney's under elected DA Linda Stanley, have had problems with complying with the discovery law. However, he claims they are meeting with law enforcement next week to iron out ways to improve and get better.

Over the last several weeks, 13 Investigates has uncovered 33 separate criminal cases with allegations of discovery violations in them.

Of the 33 cases where the DA’s office violated Rule 16, 13 Investigates confirmed five were entirely dismissed. Those include two child sexual assault cases, a murder case, a child porn case, and a strangulation case.

In other cases, people accused of sex crimes have been given PR bonds, or non-monetary bonds, as a form of sanction against the DA's office.

DA Linda Stanley was no where to be found in court Friday, and when asked by 13 Investigates if she was still around, her attorney's present in the courtroom offered no comment.

Despite our countless requests for comment, Stanley has continued to ignore us.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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