Last week, a Montezuma County jury convicted a California man on several domestic violence charges.
Thomas Reim, 68, was found guilty of theft, harassment and criminal mischief charges after ransacking his former wife’s Mancos home in December 2013. District Attorney Will Furse said all the offenses were acts of domestic violence.
Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on one count of burglary. Furse said he had yet to decide whether to prosecute that charge again.
During opening statements last week, Furse said Reim stole thousands of dollars of items from the victim’s home, including a ceiling fan, microwave, fireplace mantel, vintage skis, framed photos, cabinets, lamps and a mounted buffalo head.
“This is a classic domestic violence case,” Furse told jurors.
Furse said the defendant also left a hangman’s noose in the residence and spray-painted the words “cheat,” “lier” and “thief” on an interior wall.
Paid defense attorney Robert Sims argued in opening statements that there were no eyewitnesses to the crime, adding other individuals had access to the residence. He described the trial as a divorce case gone wrong after a 20-year common law marriage.
“The charges are unfair and unjust,” Sims told jurors.
Last week’s trial started with a glitch before opening statements when jurors became locked inside the deliberation room for about 30 minutes.
“Anyway you can pull the knob off from the inside?” Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker shouted through the locked door.
After unsuccessfully tinkering to unlock the door with a screwdriver, Walker jokingly announced, “The jurors are safely sequestered.”
A locksmith was called to help free the jury of 10 women and three men. Upon their release, one juror joked, “I called my wife, and told her not to pay the ransom.”