A 6th Circuit Court judge says he will dismiss three criminal charges against a man who is accused of vandalizing construction equipment on the Burr Trail and will decide by Dec. 1 whether the defendant will be tried on nine other charges, some of which are drug-related.
Judge David Mower said he will issue a court order to dismiss two drug charges and a charge of damaging a bulldozer that were filed against Grant Smith Johnson, 31.Johnson was arrested several months ago after law enforcement officials followed footprints from the Burr Trail where silicone had been poured into the oil pans of several bulldozers. Officers also reportedly found marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and LSD in the defendant's tepee.
Johnson still faces three third-degree felony charges of criminal mischief related to damage to the bulldozers, and six drug charges. The latter include possession of controlled substances, one charge each of peyote and LSD, and two of marijuana. He is also charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
After Mower allowed defense attorney Ron Yengich to present additional evidence at the pretrial hearing, he said he intended to dismiss the three charges. Additional hearings will not be held before Mower decides whether to bind Johnson over to district court to stand trial on the nine other charges.
The bulldozers were damaged about Dec. 3, 1987, at a time when emotions were running high over a proposal by the Garfield County Commission to improve the Burr Trail. Construction was stopped when a coalition of four environmental groups filed court action.
U.S. District Court Judge Aldon K. Anderson recently authorized Garfield County to go ahead with construction on 14 miles of the 66-mile Burr Trail route.