Let's Get It On!

Let's Get It On!

The season's winding down for Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter 3. And when two men step into the ring to beat the shit out of each other in the episode airing at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 1, one will be representing Denver.


Mike Nickels

Mike Nickels, a mixed martial arts expert and owner of Twisted Sol tattoo shop, was one of sixteen fighters chosen for the third season of the reality show; he and the other contestants, who lived together for six weeks in Las Vegas this winter, are battling it out for a shot at a six-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship ("No Pain, No Gain," May 11). A fighter is eliminated each week of the twelve-episode series, which started April 6 and finishes June 24. To stay in the game, Nickels must beat Matt Hamill, a deaf wrestler from Ohio who's a three-time NCAA national champion.

Nickels signed a confidentiality agreement and can't reveal the results of the bout, but the tough guy does reveal that this will be the bloodiest fight of the season. -- Luke Turf

Hits and Mrs.

Cool Mom is still on the hot seat. Silvia Johnson, the 41-year-old mother sentenced to thirty years in prison for providing sex, booze and drugs to Arvada West High School teenagers from September 2003 through September 2004 ("Mom's Away!," November 17, 2005), had an additional eighteen months slapped onto her sentence last month for violating bail conditions. Last September, the day before her trial was to start in Jefferson County District Court, Johnson left the jurisdiction to see her mother in Colorado Springs. But that wasn't the worst of it: She took her eleven-year-old son, his twelve-year-old friend, her fourteen-year-old daughter and a fourteen-year-old friend along -- and allowed the fourteen-year-old friend to pilot the 2005 Jeep Liberty on the way back. Outside of Castle Rock, the girl tried to change lanes and lost control of the vehicle. It skidded down an embankment and then launched into the air, coming down more than a hundred feet later and rolling end over end. Johnson's son sustained a ruptured spleen and fractured back in the accident, and her daughter suffered a broken pelvis and head injuries so severe that she required ten hours of reconstructive surgery.

A state trooper confiscated a marijuana pipe from Johnson's belongings.

And there's more to come for Cool Mom. On June 23 she'll appear in front of a judge yet again, this time in Douglas County, where the accident occurred, to face charges of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, violation of bail conditions, misdemeanor child abuse and permitting a minor to drive a vehicle.

Definitely not cool. -- Adam Cayton-Holland

A Death in the Family

The death of Emily Rae Rice "is a direct result of the extreme and deliberate indifference to her serious medical condition and the reckless practices and procedures employed by public employees in connection with her arrest, medical treatment and detention," reads the notice of claim filed May 8 by Emily's parents, Sue Garber and Roy Rice. The six-page document offers a scathing account of the events leading to the 24-year-old's death in March, and charges that callous negligence by both Denver Health Medical Center and the Denver County Sheriff's Department allowed Emily to bleed to death on the floor of the Denver jail ("Rae of Sunshine," March 9).

Early on the morning of February 18, Emily, who'd worked a shift as a waitress at Herman's Hideaway the night before, left home to buy some cigarettes. As she was turning left into a Conoco station, her car was hit by a Honda Accord. The paramedics transported Emily to Denver Health, where she was admitted after being slapped with a DUI and held as a detainee on a warrant issued by Arapahoe County for previous traffic violations. According to the Rices' claim, a hospital Emergency Trauma Flow Sheet notes that Emily complained of shoulder and abdominal pain but was released into the custody of the sheriff's department after being checked out by two doctors and declared fit to leave. No diagnostic tests were ordered, nor was any lab work -- and somehow the seven-inch tear in Emily's liver, her lacerated spleen and three broken ribs went unnoticed.

At the sheriff's department, Emily fainted during the check-in process and was placed in a cell at approximately 11 a.m. Off and on for the next nineteen hours, she kept reporting that she could not feel her legs and that she was freezing. At about 5:15 a.m. the following day, the claim continues, a new detainee was placed in Emily's cell; noticing her dire condition, the woman asked if she needed help from the guards. Emily told her cellmate that no one would listen to her. When the woman was asked if she wanted to make a phone call, she convinced one of the guards to get a nurse to the cell. The nurse administered CPR, and Emily was finally taken back to Denver Health -- where she was declared dead on arrival.

Emily's parents are seeking $10 million in damages.

"The City and County of Denver has ninety days to respond," says C. Garold Sims, the Rices' attorney. "No decision has been made yet as to what our next move will be."

In the meantime, the Rices continue to mourn the loss of their daughter. "It's not like this was a car accident where you can fix the damage and return things to the way they were," Sims says. "Sue and Roy are devastated, and they will continue to be devastated." -- Cayton-Holland


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