District Attorney calls on lawmakers in the wake of Club Q Shooting

At a news conference today Colorado 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen called on lawmakers to change a statute related to the sealing of previously di
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 10:27 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - At a news conference Thursday, Colorado 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen called on lawmakers to change a statute related to the sealing of previously dismissed criminal cases.

“I’m calling on the legislature to amend the sealing statute, to allow an immediate unsealing if a serious crime is committed, or by prosecution request, requiring the court to unseal within 24 hours of a new crime being committed.”

The current statute requires attorneys to claim that previously sealed cases “do not exist” even when they have been released, as they were in this case.

“The language in the statute creates the ridiculous scenario where we know, the media knows, and the public knows, that something happened. That something was filed with the court, and yet we have to make false statements to comply with the law if the case is sealed.”

The “ridiculous scenario” Allen referenced occurred just weeks ago when KKTV obtained arrest papers from Anderson Aldrich’s 2021 arrest for kidnapping and felony menacing. That case, which was dismissed after Aldrich’s grandparents did not testify, was sealed after the alleged Club Q shooter requested that it be sealed once it was dismissed.

Allen also said he wanted to clear up what he called a false narrative about how red flag laws could have applied to this case.

“Red flag does not apply to the DA’s office as it’s currently written.”

As written, the law states that a family member or law enforcement officer must request an ERPO or Extreme Risk Protection Order. However, after Aldrich’s arrest, his family was placed under an MPO, or Mandatory Protection Order, which serves the same legal purpose.

Both orders prohibit the defendant from owning firearms. The DA’s office claims it is still in possession of the weapons they confiscated from Aldrich last year. How Aldrich obtained the gun he used to allegedly commit the Club Q shooting remains under investigation.

In a statement also released Thursday, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office commented thoroughly on how Colorado’s Red Flag Law would not have aided them in this case.

“The legal ability Aldrich had to acquire firearms following the dismissal of the previous case and the MPO can only be addressed legislatively. It most certainly is not a situation with which to indict the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office for wrongdoing or inaction in this case.”

Adding “The existence of this MPO prevented Aldrich from lawfully possessing firearms, just as an ERPO would have. To have petitioned for an ERPO after an MPO was issued would have been redundant and unnecessary.”