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Trial continues for Colorado Springs man accused of shootings

One Colorado Springs man is currently on trial for charges stemming from four area shootings from 2001 to 2008. The man has been charged with a total of 31 counts for sniper-style attacks on people involved in his divorce proceedings. The man is accused of killing someone in 2008 who was allegedly romantically involved with this ex-wife, firing shots in the homes of an attorney and judge in 2001 and partially blinding his ex-wife's divorce lawyer in 2002.

The trial is currently centered on a debate between the defense and prosecution over whether or not the shootings are linked. On Feb. 21, a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent testified that it was a reasonable conclusion that the 2008 murder and the three other shootings were all related. The agent claimed that the fact that sniper attacks are rare and all of the shootings occurred in the same area showed a possible revenge motive linking the incidents.

The defense, on the other hand, has argued that there is not enough evidence to show conclusively that the shootings are the work of one person. Four separate trials for the shooting were originally requested by the defense, but a judge ruled that it would be kept as a single trial. The defense is just beginning its part of the trial and is expected to call witnesses who will testify about two other possible suspects, including one person who reportedly confessed to shooting the divorce lawyer.

If the defense can present a solid argument that there are other possible suspects in the shootings, it may chip away at the idea that the incidents are linked and give more room to establish reasonable doubt. Motive and advance planning are important points in a criminal trial and being able to discredit the prosecution's interpretation of the alleged crimes can be a valuable criminal defense tactic.

Source:  The Gazette, "Nozolino trial: Homicide, 3 shootings linked, FBI agent says" Lance Benzel, Feb. 22, 2014

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