Crime briefs

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By Deborah Swearingen

O’Connor jury trial postponed

The jury trial for the man accused of causing an August 2017 crash that killed a 53-year-old motorcyclist has been postponed while the defendant undergoes a “mental condition evaluation,” according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

Ian Fitzgerald O’Connor, 32, pleaded not guilty in April to felony charges of leaving the scene with death, vehicular homicide and reckless vehicular, as well as a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and several traffic infractions, including reckless driving, no proof of insurance, fictitious plates and more. He was scheduled to have a two-day jury trial beginning Sept. 11 but will instead return Oct. 5 for a review hearing.

O’Connor was arrested Aug. 29, 2017, in connection with the death of Wheat Ridge resident Paul Dacko, who was riding north on U.S. 285 near the C-470 overpass when O’Connor’s car reportedly collided with Dacko’s motorcycle. Dacko was pronounced dead at the scene. The defendant is accused of running from the scene of the accident, which occurred just after 11 p.m. Aug. 28, and was later found at the Phillips 66 gas station in Morrison.

A blood draw at the hospital confirmed O’Connor’s blood-alcohol content was 0.21 percent, well over Colorado’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. He also had 6.1 nanograms of THC, the active component in marijuana, in his system. The defendant was booked into the Jeffco Jail on Aug. 29 and posted $100,000 bond the following day. Despite posting bond, O’Connor currently is in custody due to new charges being filed.

Arraignment set for identity theft ring suspects

Seven of the eight people indicted in August for allegedly operating an identity theft ring in Jefferson County and elsewhere in the metro area will be arraigned Oct.15.

Four men and four women are accused of operating the ring, which affected at least 26 merchants and 14 victims, according to the indictment. Seven of the eight have been arrested, while one suspect — Faith Knight — remains at large.

The following individuals have been arrested:

• Jacob Westfall, 20.

• Matthew Lane, 42.

• Michael John Mancuso, 28.

• Texie Lane, 35.

• Chelsea Dix, 24.

• Kristina Babe, 40.

• Dwone Ector, 22.

Furthermore, Mancuso is accused of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act by participating in racketeering, or when organized groups run illegal businesses. According to a press release from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, the eight suspects illegally obtained financial and personal information from people such as names, addresses, credit card numbers and more. Most of the information came from Chase Visa credit cards. Businesses in Evergreen and South Jeffco were among those hit by the identity theft ring.

The seven suspects who’ve been arrested appeared in court Monday to be advised of their charges. All eight face charges of identity theft, theft, conspiracy to commit theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, false information to a pawnbroker, aggravated motor vehicle theft and attempted theft.