Missed E-Mails, Messages Delayed Brents' Warrant

Arapahoe County DA Issues Report On What Went Wrong

The Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office has completed its review of what went wrong after a sex assault suspect Brent J. Brents allegedly admitted to Aurora police that he inappropriately touched an 8-year-old boy.

Because of the importance of the document, the district attorney's report is reproduced below in its entirety.

Due to the recent events involving Sex Assault suspect Brent J. Brents our office has conducted an internal review surrounding our notification process not only in this case but all Special Victims Unit cases. In this review we were able to determine the following series of events took place in the Brents case:

On Monday, December 6, 2004 a Deputy District Attorney assigned to the Intake division was at the Aurora Police Department. Part of her assigned duties is to work out of the Aurora Police Department on a part-time basis. The Brents case was picked up by this Deputy District Attorney to bring back to the Centennial office for review by the Special Victims Unit. The case was brought back to the office on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 when the Deputy DA returned to the Centennial office after being off on Tuesday, December 7, 2004.

On Thursday, December 9, 2004 the Chief Deputy District Attorney in charge of the Special Victims Unit reviewed the case and gave it to the division secretary to type up the charges and notify the filing detective that the case was ready to be signed.

On Monday, December 13, 2004 the SVU division secretary typed up the charges and prepared the case.

On December 14, 2004 the SVU division secretary sent an E-mail to what she believed to be the E-mail address for Ofc. Del Matticks of the Aurora Police Department. There was no notification that the E-mail had not been delivered.

On December 21, 2004 when the SVU division secretary realized that Ofc. Matticks had not been in to sign the Brents case she again sent an E-mail to the E-mail address she believed belonged to Ofc. Matticks and again there was no indication that the E-mail had not been delivered.

NOTE: We have been able to determine from the Aurora Police Department that Ofc. Matticks did not have an E-mail account with the city. We also have been able to determine that the two E-mails were not delivered to any E-mail address.

After returning from vacation sometime during the week of January 3, 2005, the SVU division secretary saw that the Brents case was still unsigned so she called and left a voice message for Ofc. Matticks.

Ofc. Matticks advised me that the voicemail system for officers in Aurora doesn’t alert when there is a message and that the only way to find messages is to check. Ofc. Matticks did check messages sometime during the first week of January and heard two messages from the district attorney’s office advising the Brents case was ready to be signed. Ofc. Matticks was unable to provide a specific date when he received these messages. It should be noted that Ofc. Matticks is assigned to Patrol and not Investigations and thus would not have an office where he could check his voicemails readily available.

According to the Aurora victim advocate she spoke with the SVU secretary on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 asking about the Brents case. The secretary then took the case down to the Intake division’s interoffice mail to have it taken to Aurora PD by the Intake Deputy DA assigned to APD and called Ofc. Matticks to advise him that the case was coming out to APD for his signature.

Ofc. Matticks advised me that he went into the police department looking for the Brents case on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 and it was not there yet.

On Wednesday, January 19, 2005 the Brents case was taken to APD and it was signed by Ofc. Matticks who then personally brought the case back to the SVU Division and it was taken to the court on that same day.

On Wednesday, January 26, 2005 Judge Ethan Feldman signed off on the arrest warrant and it was entered as an active warrant on Thursday, January 27, 2005.

District Attorney Carol Chambers has implemented new procedures in an effort to eliminate these kinds of issues in the future. With any case in SVU, our new procedure requires that the secretary notify both the detective and the sgt/supervisor by telephone that the case is ready and needs to be signed within 24 hours. That way, if the officer is not on duty for some reason or not available, we have not just left a message that will not be heard, we have someone who will call us and tell us what is going on and we can figure out if we need another person to sign instead of the filing detective. If we have not heard from them within 24 hours the Chief Deputy District Attorney will call both again right away. Any cases that have been in our office for more than 7 days that have not been signed will be given to the Chief Deputy District Attorney in SVU and a call will be placed to the next person up in the chain of command. In addition Affidavits for arrest warrants on high risk offenders will be taken over to the court and walked through the process so that a warrant can be put onto the computer that same day.

-- Source: 18th Judicial District Release

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