Jury deliberating fate of Fort Collins man in April riot

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A 24-year-old Fort Collins man accused of inciting a riot last Spring is waiting for a jury to decide his fate.

A two-day trial for Kodi Don Noel ended Thursday afternoon and a jury began deliberating just before 3 p.m.  They will continue deliberating Friday.

The disturbance last April erupted during a block party near the CSU campus and police estimated 800 people were involved, throwing bottles and taunting police.

The main witness Thursday was Darin Hinman, a CSU student and U.S. Marine veteran, who was acting as a student journalist, as news director of KCSU, a student-run radio station,  when he went to the party. 

"It means a potential for disaster," said Hinman when he heard the party was advertised on Facebook.  Hinman took a cell phone photo of Noel after hearing him heckle police, yelling "F--- you, pig!", even asking a female officer if she wanted to smoke pot.

Hinman said Noel became agitated when Hinman took his photo, saying "F--- you, pig, you’re only half a cop."  Hinman was open carrying a pistol that night he made sure was visible and informed Noel that not only was he not a cop, he was a former Marine. 

Noel replied "I’m very sorry, I didn’t know that," and walked away, according to Hinman.  Later that night after police had shut down loud music and the crowd of about 800 became agitated,

Hinman testified "I saw him throw a beer bottle in the direction of officers … like a baseball," later that night, after police had shut down lout music and the crowed became agitated.

Upon cross examination, Hinman admitted, "I don’t have a video or a picture of somebody throwing a bottle," even though he took approximately 30 still photos and video clips that night with his cell phone.  Hinman decided later to not pursue a story out of the images, saying it would be a conflict of interest because he had filled out a police report.  When asked why he did that, he said "I feel like I have an obligation to help my community."

if convicted of engaging in a riot with a deadly weapon, Noel could face a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison.

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