Judge grants permission to dismiss case against Maketa co-defendant

Published: Oct. 16, 2017 at 12:12 PM MDT
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Prosecutors moved to dismiss the case against a former El Paso County Sheriff's Office commander, and Monday afternoon the judge granted the motion.

A move that came a year and a half too late said the attorney representing one-time Cmdr. John San Agustin.

"This never should have happened to begin with. We shouldn't be here."

San Agustin

at the same time as ex-Sheriff Terry Maketa and ex-Undersheriff Paula Presley. The trio was involved in a wide-ranging corruption case.

San Agustin was facing charges of second-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment, the shortest list of charges among the three. Like his co-defendants, he pleaded not guilty. Specifically, San Agustin was accused of coercing a woman who was involved in a domestic dispute with a deputy to recant her story.

"Mr. San Agustin was a subject of a witch hunt," said attorney Iris Eytan. "He never should have been part of an investigation that really probably shouldn't exist in itself."

Prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to prove San Agustin was guilty. The main issue was with a few of the key witnesses not being credible or unable to be found.

Eytan said she and San Agustin were pleased with the outcome.

“There’s no question that today is a happy moment. The feeling that the cloud that’s hanging over his family and friends and his life and his children and his inability of moving forward and the question of, 'Why, why did this happen? Why are they coming after me? What do they have?' The answer always was 'I don’t know,' and they have nothing. Now it feels good. It’s a good moment in his family's life and for him."

San Agustin's co-defendants remain embroiled in court. Maketa's corruption trial ended in a partial mistrial over the summer. His retrial is scheduled for Jan. 24. Presley is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 27.