Molly Midyette legal appeal: Special prosecutor to replace Boulder DA Stan Garnett

The prosecution of Molly and Alex Midyette by the Boulder District Attorney's Office led to convictions for both regarding the 2006 death of their twelve-week-old son Jason. But now Molly is appealing her sixteen-year prison sentence, arguing Alex and his powerful family sabotaged her defense in order to help him. That means the legal fireworks over Jason will continue. But Boulder prosecutors won't be involved, because DA Stan Garnett recently recused his office from the case.

In May, Molly's post-conviction appeal lawyers, Alison Ruttenberg and Tom Carberry, changed legal tacks. They nixed an appeal they were pursuing in the Colorado Court of Appeals that accused Paul McCormick, Alex's lawyer, of unfairly meddling in Molly's case to focus on requesting a whole new trial for Molly in district court -- a move that will allow them to present much wider arguments in support of their client. At the time, Ruttenberg predicted the Boulder DA's office would withdraw from the case because "they are too intimately involved in the case as witnesses."

Ruttenberg was right. On June 8, the Boulder DA's office filed a motion to appoint a special prosecutor for the case. District Judge Lael Montgomery granted the motion the next day. "Basically, we were advised by Molly Midyete's council that they plan to subpoena at least one deputy from the office, and possibly the district attorney himself," says DA spokesperson Catherine Olguin. "You can't be both a witness and an advocate in a proceeding. It is a conflict."

Garnett's office will be replaced by a special prosecutor from the First Judicial District in Jefferson County. The prosecutor to be assigned to the case hasn't been determined yet, reports Dave Dechant, spokesman for the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office. But the decision should likely come soon; a status conference on the case is scheduled for next Tuesday, June 21, at 9 a.m.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Molly Midyette, sentenced to 16 years for her son Jason's death, speaks out (VIDEO)"

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner