Judge finds Damron competent to stand trial for mother’s murder

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Judge finds Damron competent to stand trial for mother’s murder

Witnesses warn that defendant’s mental condition could change
Jeremiah Paul Damron, center, during his arrest last year on suspicion of homicide.
Timeline

Key dates in the case against Jeremiah Paul Damron.

July 19, 2017: Montezuma County deputies respond just after 5 p.m. to a report of domestic violence at Damron’s mobile home in the 7000 block of County Road 21.75. They remove Damron’s wife and son and leave the area after he threatens to kill them. A deputy sees an elderly woman behind Damron in the house at one point.


July 20, 2017: The body of Damron’s mother, 62-year-old Kristie Damron, is found apparently beaten and burned to death in his backyard early in the morning. Cortez police and sheriff’s deputies arrest Damron on North Sligo Street at 10:25 a.m.


July 24, 2017: Damron appears in Montezuma County District Court for an advisement hearing. His bail is set at $500,000, and he is ordered to undergo a mental competency evaluation through the Colorado Department of Human Services.


July 28, 2017: Damron is charged with first-degree murder. His mental competency hearing is scheduled for Sept. 6, and his preliminary hearing for Sept. 22.


Sept. 6, 2017: Damron’s hearings are delayed after CDHS says the results of his evaluation will not be available until October.


Oct. 17, 2017: Damron is ruled mentally incompetent to participate in his own defense. Montezuma County District Judge Todd Plewe orders him to undergo treatment at the CDHS Institute in Pueblo.


Jan. 16, 2018: CDHS requests a delay in Damron’s treatment, and his hearing is postponed to April 3. Plewe turns down a request to reduce bail.


April 17, 2018: Plewe grants a request from the defense for a second mental health assessment. The next competency hearing is set for June 22.


June 22, 2018: Defense attorney John Moran announces plans to challenge the findings of two mental health evaluations declaring Damron competent to proceed. A competency hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1.


Aug. 1, 2018: Plewe, after hearing testimony from three expert witnesses, rules that Damron is competent to proceed to trial. A preliminary hearing was tentatively planned for Sept. 5-7.

Judge finds Damron competent to stand trial for mother’s murder

Jeremiah Paul Damron, center, during his arrest last year on suspicion of homicide.
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