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Ryan Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Stanley-Doughtery, 26, appeared separately yesterday before Chief Judge Claude Appel in Huerfano County District Court. Attorneys for the brothers were granted a stay in proceedings last November until yesterday. Appel, who seemed irritated that the attorneys were not ready for yesterday’s hearings, postponed both hearings until February 16th saying that if the attorneys were not ready for a plea on the 16th, he would go ahead and set the case for trial. Possible plea agreements have been discussed for both brothers. Appel also expressed frustration as to why Dylan Stanley Doughtery had been transported from Pueblo to the hearing when he had signed an order at the request of the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office to conduct Dylan’s hearing via video conference. Stanley-Dougherty was transferred to Pueblo on January 12th following a foiled escape attempt. Last week he was arrested on charges of conspiracy to escape and possession of contraband. Appel gave District Attorney Frank Ruybalid until Monday to file formal charges. Both brothers, along with their sister, are being held in lieu of $1.25 million bail each.

Jury selection continues today in the murder case against Tyrone Martinez, 33, of Romeo. Attorneys in the case are attempting to extract a 12-member jury with two alternates from the total of 149 people that were called for jury duty before the case begins. Martinez is being tried in the shooting death of Norma Chavez Salazar in her apartment in La Jara in August of 2010. He also faces charges for menacing, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and two counts of tampering. Rodney Northrip, 20, told authorities that he drove Martinez to the apartment and agreed to testify in Martinez’s trial as part of a plea bargain on charges of reckless manslaughter and accessory to a crime. Prosecutors have alleged that Martinez believed that Salazar was involved in the drug overdose death of his uncle, David Espinoza, in early 2010 and wanted revenge. Martinez gained added notoriety in June when he allegedly overwhelmed a Conejos County Jail officer while being transported from court and escaped. He was arrested three hours later in Saguache County. His trial is set to run through February 8th.

Farm Service Agency officials are considering combining the Saguache County FSA and the Rio Grande FSA into one unit as one solution to a variety of budget-related challenges. FSA officials held a public meeting last week to discuss the proposed office consolidation. They are considering bringing the entities together in the new United States Department of Agriculture service center that is planned for construction three miles south of Center. FSA State Director Trudy Kareus explained that the strapped budget has congress asking offices within 20 miles of each other to consolidate. She said uniting the two offices will save taxpayers at least $15,000 annually. The FSA will continue to take comments until Saturday. Comments may be emailed to [email protected].

A fraud by check case was reported to authorities in Walsenburg last week. The victim in the case received a Sears envelope postmarked in Canada, which stated that the won a “shoppers point of sale lottery” in the sum of $50,000. The letter stated that the victim must cash the enclosed check for $3,970 and then sent $1,970 of it by Western Union for taxes. The check was supposed to be issued by a company in California, drawn on a bank in New York, with the company agent, Mark Brown, located in England. Authorities want you to know that these scams work by having the victim cash the check, which means that the victim is held responsible for all of the money which was taken when the check is discovered to be counterfeit or on a closed account. Don’t be a victim.

Texas congressman and republican presidential candidate Representative Ron Paul will make campaign appearances today in Fort Collins, Denver and Colorado Springs. Paul is scheduled to be in Fort Collins at 10am this morning, speaking at the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University. He will then speak at the Renaissance Denver hotel at noon in downtown Denver. Paul will make a final stop at 2pm in Colorado Springs at the Colorado Jet Center at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport at 1575 Aviation Way. Colorado republicans will hold their precinct caucuses on February 7th, including a straw pole vote on republican presidential candidates.