COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An embattled former Colorado sheriff is getting his day in Court after months of waiting.
Terry Maketa, a former star within the Colorado Republican party, faces nine counts, including felony charges filed over alleged inappropriate relationships with subordinates and more in a two-year probe.
Maketa turned himself in to the Pueblo County Jail in May of 2016 after being indicted on six felony charges of extortion, second-degree kidnapping, false imprisonment, conspiracy to commit extortion, victim tampering, conspiracy to commit victim tampering and three misdemeanor charges of first-degree official misconduct. A criminal investigation against him included the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the FBI and more.
The former sheriff resigned just before the end of his third term and has managed to stay out of the spotlight while his trial has come together.
On Tuesday, both sides began sifting through a pool of 90 potential jurors, narrowing the field to just 12 jurors and alternates.
Here are seven things you need to know about the trial as it begins:
1.) The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has already approved settlements for claims against the former sheriff. At least $350,000 has been paid out, with $250,000 spent on legal fees.
2.) When Maketa was sworn in to his first term in 2003, he said "I will be honest, loyal, dedicated and make sacrifices necessary to ensure that you, as well as the expectations of this community, are met."
3.) Maketa won each of his three elections by a wide margin, running one election unopposed, and winning each of his contested elections by 77 and 81 percent.
4.) Maketa's former staffers Paula Presley and San Juan Agustin also face charges in the case. They were indicted on charges of second-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment.
5.) An embarrassing selfie, published in the Colorado Springs Gazette, appeared years before Maketa was indicted, but may be used to demonstrate a relationship between he and his staffers.
6.) Mark Hurlbert, the lead prosecutor in the case, has previously dueled with Pamela Mackey, a Denver lawyer representing Maketa, in a high-profile case against NBA star Kobe Bryant. Hurlbert wound up dismissing charges against Kobe Bryant, who Mackey represented.
7.) The felony charges Maketa faces carry penalties of anywhere between two and six years in prison.