A judge this week rejected a defense team’s attempt to hit the “reset button” on three years of courtroom battles in the case of Bruce J. Nozolino.
In a tersely worded order issued Tuesday, Pueblo District Judge Victor I. Reyes instead ruled that the sniper-shooting suspect should be prepared for his previously scheduled Jan. 6 trial.
The decision marks a setback for Nozolino’s attorneys, who had asked Reyes for a hearing to consider their request to re-litigate the case from scratch.
In a May 20 motion, attorneys Tina Tussay and Gregory Walta argued that the sniper shooting suspect’s previous attorneys, public defenders Rose Roy and Kim Chalmers, had failed to disclose personal conflicts that kept them from fully defending Nozolino. The former Lockheed Martin software engineer was named in a July 2010 grand jury indictment him in a decade-spanning series of shootings in which someone killed a Colorado Springs man and tried to kill an El Paso County District judge, a divorce lawyer and their families.
The claimed legal conflict revolved around Rose’s friendship with a woman who is romantically linked to a prosecution witness.
Reyes wrote that Nozolino was “fully aware” of Roy’s personal associations and had “waived any potential conflict.”
In tossing the motion, the judge called Nozolino “a very educated gentleman who has had plenty of experience with the system in both criminal and civil matters.”
The slow-moving case has involved multiple changes in legal representation, a rotating cast of judges, and related trials for perjury and witness tampering, for which Nozolino was found guilty and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
His prosecution in the shootings was on hold for much of 2012 while the Colorado State Supreme Court weighed an appeal over who will represent him.