Colorado Supreme Court Opinions for January 21
People v. Wood
Patrick Wood was convicted of second-degree murder and four other charges after killing the assistant manager during a pizza restaurant robbery in 1986. He was given a life sentence in prison. Wood argued that he was the victim of double jeopardy claiming he was tried for the same murder charge twice on first-degree and second-degree murder. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit decided that Wood’s first charge of first-degree murder be dropped and the charge of second-degree murder remain in place.
The 10th Circuit of Appeals misinterpreted the original mittimus and there was no double jeopardy. The Colorado Supreme Court reversed the decision.
Allen v. State of Colorado
This case was brought after Sam Allen, former owner of a 140-acre plot of land in Mesa County and shares of capital stock in Big Creek Reservoir Company, sold the land to a third party but excluded the company shares. Mesa County Land Conservancy claimed that this was a violation of the easement that stated all shares in the company will remain with the ownership of the land and demanded that the shares remain with land ownership. Allen filed a claim for compensation because of a loss of property rights.
The Colorado Supreme Court dismissed the case on grounds of lack of jurisdiction after ruling unanimously that cases regarding water ownership and shares of a mutual ditch company cannot be heard by a water cort, since the court primarily rules over the resource’s use instead of corporate matters.