Attorney: Evidence over threats to Colorado lawmaker Rhonda Fields missing

DENVER - An attorney for state Rep. Rhonda Fields says a Colorado man accused of sending a series of racially and sexually offensive e-mails has destroyed key evidence in the case against him.

Attorney Craig Silverman says a tablet computer was run over and destroyed when Denver police sought to search it, and a laptop computer has not been found.

A judge has set a Nov. 20 trial date for Franklin Sain, who is charged with attempting to influence a public official and harassment during a gun control debate.

According to the Denver Post, Sain's attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, wrote in court documents that Sain voluntarily gave the broken tablet computer to detectives to be searched.

He says tests of several printers linked to Sain were inconclusive or showed no match.

Prosecutors said Sain sent numerous threatening emails and a voice mail message with the intent to alter or affect the Representative’s opinion or action. 

"The charges further allege that the communication was intended to intimidate or harass the victim because of her race," the Denver District Attorney's office said in a news release.

When two Denver police detectives interviewed Sain on Feb. 19 in his office, he admitted he had sent phone messages and emails to Fields, but added: "I didn't threaten her," the affidavit said.

Sain's attorney Siddhartha Rathod says that while the emails were vile, they represent free speech protected under the Constitution. Rathod says Sain has apologized to Fields via email.

Sain was the chief operating officer at SofTec Solutions Inc., an Englewood information technology company that does work for the government and health care companies. After Sain was arrested, the company said he'd been suspended, then fired.