After six days of hearing from nearly 30 witnesses and seeing more than 40 pieces of entered evidence, 12 Larimer County residents laid down their verdict for the man charged with murdering 25-year-old Jordan Sinden: guilty on all charges.
Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Laurie Dean read the verdict to 60-year-old Dennis Gist Thursday afternoon as he stood silently with his attorneys.
“It doesn’t bring (Jordan) back, but at least I got some justice,” said Andrea Sinden, Jordan’s mother, following the reading.
The 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office rested its case against Gist Wednesday afternoon. Judge Laurie Dean released the jurors early and asked them to come back Thursday morning for the defense to begin their side of the case.
However, at the beginning of Thursday’s hearing, the defense rested its case right away, leading straight into closing arguments.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Robert Axmacher began his closing arguments by holding up the alleged murder weapon and the bullet fired from it, saying that Gist is the one who pulled the trigger.
“Dennis Gist murdered Jordan Sinden,” he said. “You saw this with your very own eyes.”
He followed by breaking down the list of 27 witnesses they called, ranging from the people who found Sinden to the officers who investigated, and the 43 pieces of evidence provided, including the video from inside the motel room and the several pieces of clothing that Gist was allegedly wearing.
Lance Thibert, one of Gist’s attorneys, said the case relied on a few major elements, including the eyewitnesses, the video that the prosecution claimed showed Gist committing the murder, his interview with the Loveland Police Department and the forensics. He went on to say that all aspects of those elements were flawed in some way or another.
He said the witnesses’ credibility must be questioned, with one woman in the room when Gist and Jonathan Fuhrman, another man who was arrested in connection to the case, allegedly arrived saying she was going through a psychosis-induced blackout; another man was in the room when Gist arrived but was ushered out before the incident occurred, he added.
For Fuhrman himself, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in February and is scheduled to be sentenced after Gist’s trial, Thibert said he has a clear bias and would “do or say anything to benefit himself.”
He also went over the bias he said existed in DNA analysis and how the Loveland Police investigated the killing, saying they did no investigation on other cases that Sinden was involved in that could have potentially led to retaliation against him.
Thibert said that while the prosecution would likely say that it was all speculation, the doubts he brought up were not speculative.
“There is a very real difference between speculation and pointing out real holes in an investigation,” he said.
Deputy District Attorney Joshua Ritter, after pulling up a photo of Sinden, argued with Thibert’s points by simply saying “we live in the real world.”
“This murder happened in the real world. Jordan Sinden was a living, breathing human being and in this flesh and blood world of ours, this man took his life,” he said as he turned and pointed at Gist.
He said the world where all the evidence and witness testimony is wrong is “full on imagination land,” and not based on reason or common sense.
“The defendant, Dennis Gist, did murder Jordan Sinden,” he said. “The defendant is guilty of murder in the first degree. That is just reality.”
After around three hours of deliberation, the jurors came back with a verdict of guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder after deliberation, a class 1 felony; first-degree felony murder, a class 1 felony; second-degree burglary of a dwelling, a class 3 felony; and two counts of tampering with physical evidence, both a class 6 felony.
After the verdict, the prosecution dismissed two additional charges of possession of a weapon by a previous offender because, as Axmacher said, they would need a separate hearing that would require testimony about old cases and because Gist was already facing life in prison for the murder conviction.
Following the case, both the defense and the prosecution declined to provide a comment on the jury’s decision.
Sinden said that her son is very missed and despite that difficulty, she is happy to see someone face consequences for what happened in that motel room a year-and-a-half ago.
“I know the person who took him is going away for life,” she said, later adding “I’m very glad the jury saw it the way I did.”
Dean scheduled Gist to appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. Sept. 27.
Denial of responsibility! Bulletin Reporter is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected] bulletinreporter.com . The content will be deleted within 24 hours.