Rose Chilcoat attempted to kill cattle by preventing them from getting to their water

Soon after Chilcoat was bound over for trial, her attorneys buried the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office in a mountain of motions. According to one source, the county prosecutor went to the Attorney General’s Office for help in answering the motions. It should be noted that one of the main jobs of the AG’s Office is to help county attorneys, however, they refused to assist Prosecutor Laws, stating they had a conflict of interest in the case since Chilcoat’s attorney, Paul Cassell, worked for the AG’s Office.

Monte Wells

The Petroglyph

In an unbelievable turn of events this week the San Juan County prosecutor, Kendall Laws, and the Utah Attorney General’s Office dismissed all charges against environmental radical Rose Chilcoat. In April of 2017, Chilcoat and her husband were caught attempting to kill livestock. Two local ranchers who were investigating suspicious activities at their corrals on Lime Ridge caught Chilcoat and her husband closing a gate in order to prevent cattle from getting to their only water source in the extremely arid region.

Chilcoat, a resident of Colorado and member of the Great old Broads for Wilderness, has a long history of anti-cattle activities and hostility towards Utah ranchers. Despite her extremist history and an abundance of incriminating evidence, according to the Durango Herald, “The Utah Attorney General’s Office said Monday there is not enough evidence against Durango environmentalist Rose Chilcoat to bring her case to trial.”

In an interesting twist, shortly after Chilcoat was charged with wanton livestock endangerment and trespassing in the later part of April 2017, the Utah Attorney General’s Office brought criminal charges against San Juan County’s Sheriff Eldridge, Undersheriff Alan Freestone, and Deputy Rob Wilcox. Wilcox was the lead Deputy in the Chilcoat case and because of the AG’s charges, Wilcox was not allowed to testify at Chilcoat’s preliminary hearing. Prior to the hearing, rumors abounded that the Chilcoat case was going to be dismissed because Wilcox was withheld from testifying. The San Juan County Prosecutor, Kendall Laws, decided to go forward with the preliminary hearing without Wilcox.

At the preliminary hearing, both Chilcoat and her husband were bound over for trial by Judge Anderson. Chilcoat and her husband then hired Paul Cassell, a former United States District Judge in Utah who is now a professor at the law school of the University of Utah and who also works for the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

In November 2017, the charges against Sheriff Eldridge and his deputies, Freestone and Wilcox were dismissed by Judge George Hammond of Utah’s 7th Judicial District. The court ruled there were no violations of the law by the Sheriff or his colleagues. The ruling also stated that Judge Hammond found no evidence that any of them had deceived the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

This sequence of events and their timing naturally raised questions about why the Utah Attorney General’s Office brought unfounded charges against Wilcox, the key investigator in the Chilcoat case, along with Sheriff Eldridge, and Freestone to begin with.

Soon after Chilcoat was bound over for trial, her attorneys buried the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office in a mountain of motions. According to one source, the county prosecutor went to the Attorney General’s Office for help in answering the motions. It should be noted that one of the main jobs of the AG’s Office is to help county attorneys, however, they refused to assist Prosecutor Laws, stating they had a conflict of interest in the case since Chilcoat’s attorney, Paul Cassell, worked for the AG’s Office.

Later, when Chilcoat and her husband filed an appeal to the Utah State Appeals Court, the AG’s Office took charge of the County’s case and presented it to the Appeals Court. According to one source, the AG’s Office handles all appeals under state law, but why was there no conflict of interest with Paul Cassell serving as Chilcoat’s attorney at this juncture?

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