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    District Attorney Finds No Criminal Conduct in Death of Joshua Stevens

    First Judicial District Attorney Peter Weir announced today that his office has completed its review and legal analysis of the investigation into the fatal shooting that resulted in the death of Joshua Stevens, 32, on April 1, 2013 in Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado.

    Following review of the investigation, which was conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), District Attorney Weir determined that the actions of Grand County Sheriff’s Lieutenant John Stein and Chief Deputy District Attorney (CDDA) Heather Stein, with the Fourteenth Judicial District, did not involve criminal conduct in the shooting death of Joshua Stevens.

    On the night of the shooting, District Attorney Weir was contacted by Brett Barkey, Fourteenth Judicial District which includes Hot Sulphur Springs, who requested assistance in the investigation. The CBI was also contacted and asked to conduct the investigation. DA Barkey requested assistance because the shooting involved a Grand County Sheriff’s Lieutenant and a Chief Deputy District Attorney from his office.

    District Attorney Weir’s analysis and conclusion are detailed in a letter which is being provided to District Attorney Barkey today.

    Lieutenant John Stein and CDDA Heather Stein are married and live in Hot Sulphur Springs. They have four children. On the night of April 1, 2013, John and Heather Stein were home with three of their four children. The family was asleep when shortly before midnight Lieutenant Stein was awakened by a loud banging at the front door, which sounded as if someone were trying to kick in the door. He picked up his gun and went to the door. When he opened the door Stevens pushed his way into the home. He was yelling and behaving erratically. The Steins’ daughter was asleep on the couch when Stevens pushed his way into the home. CDDA Stein was also awakened by the disturbance. She also retrieved her gun and was able to move the child out of the room. As Lieutenant Stein attempted to persuade Stevens to leave the home, there was an altercation in the living room which caused minor injuries both to Lieutenant Stein and Stevens.

    Lieutenant Stein was eventually able to forcibly remove Stevens from his home. Lieutenant Stein watched Stevens go across the street, towards a parked truck. The woman who owned the truck had gotten out of the truck and was walking away from it. She saw Stevens coming towards her.

    Lieutenant Stein again contacted Stevens in an attempt to subdue him. Another struggle ensued and led to a fight on the sidewalk in front of the Steins’ home. During this fight Stevens attempted to take control of Lieutenant Stein’s gun. Lieutenant Stein repeatedly ordered Stevens to let go of the gun. CDDA Stein watched the fight on the sidewalk. At one point she grabbed Stevens around the neck and tried to pull him of off her husband. Stevens continued to fight for control of the gun and ignored orders to let go of the gun. Lieutenant Stein was determined not to allow Stevens to secure his handgun and he fired three shots. Upon the hearing the shots fired, CDDA Stein believed Lieutenant Stein had been hit and was concerned for the safety of her children and herself. She then fired her weapon.

    Stevens died as a result of the gunshots. The coroner determined that he sustained four gunshots. Three shot were fired by Lieutenant Stein and one shot was fired by CDDA Stein. According to the autopsy report the shot fired by CDDA Stein would not have been fatal. Toxicology results were positive for amphetamine, methamphetamine, oxycodone/oxymorphone and canniboid.

    Following review of this investigation, District Attorney Weir finds that it was not unreasonable for Lieutenant Stein and CDDA Stein to fear imminent death or serious bodily injury to themselves and their children, and to respond to Stevens in the manner that they did.

    The District Attorney’s final conclusion is that the legal requirements of the affirmative defense of self-defense were satisfied by Lieutenant Stein’s and CDDA Stein’s actions and that their conduct did not violate any criminal statutes.

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information

    June 6, 2013

    Last Updated: 6-7-2013
  • The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s).
    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.