Colorado Springs

Former El Paso Co. Sheriff Terry Maketa found not guilty on 3 of 7 counts

Maketa Verdict

COLORADO SPRINGS - After nearly three weeks of jury selection, witness testimonies, and allegations that former Sheriff Terry Maketa misused his power, the jury made their decision in the trial on Tuesday.

The jury made up of twelve jurors, could not come to a decision on four of the seven counts against Maketa.  

Jurors found Maketa not guilty of witness tampering (class 4 felony), conspiracy to commit witness tampering (class 5 felony) and one count of first-degree official misconduct (class 2 misdemeanor).

The jury was hung on the four remaining counts: extortion (class 4 felony), conspiracy to commit extortion (class 5 felony) and two counts of first-degree official misconduct (class 2 misdemeanor).

"Would any additional discussion or assistance from us would change your ability to unanimously decide?," Judge Larry Schwartz asked the jury.

"No, sir," the presiding juror responded. 

"Members of the jury we appreciate the time and efforts you put into this," Schwartz said.

Maketa looed relieved leaving the courtroom with his wife, telling the media, "We're just very happy with the outcome."

Lead prosecutor Mark Hurlbert told KRDO, "Although we are disappointed in the not guilty plea, ultimately I'm very respectful of the jury verdict."

Schwartz declared the trial a partial mistrial. Prosecutors have 90 days to re-try the case.

We asked Hurlbert if he and prosecutor Chris Wilcox will retry the four remaining counts.

"At this point we don't know whether we are going to retry those counts, but it's something we're looking over the next few days," he responded.

Schwartz scheduled a conference call Monday with prosecutors to discuss what steps to take next.

Maketa's co-defendants, former Undersheriff Paula Presley and former commander "John" San Agustin, are scheduled for separate trials later this year.


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#MaketaTrial: Day 5 of testimony

#MaketaTrial: Day 4 of testimony

#MaketaTrial: Day 3 of Testimony

#MaketaTrial: Day 2 of jury selection, jury picked

#MaketaTrial: Day 1 of jury selection

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