There have been major developments in the Nancy Pfister case this week. First the District Attorney’s office decided to drop charges against one of three murder defendants. Now, it’s considering doing the same for another defendant, who’s scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.
District Attorney Sherry Caloia has confirmed prosecutors are considering ending charges against Kathy Carpenter, a long time Aspen local. Former defendant Nancy Styler was cleared Tuesday and released from the Eagle County jail later that day. Evidence received in the last several days is what’s prompting the changes. Caloia describes the new information this way.
“It was something that took us by surprise, but not one we didn’t anticipate it could happen.”
The evidence did not come from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which collected items from the crime scene, ranging from carpet samples to window blinds to a Jaguar owned by Mrs. Styler and her husband. But prosecutors couldn’t say anything more about where the evidence is from and what it might be. Only that it led them to conclude they could not adequately prove murder charges against Nancy Styler. It was somewhat of a surprise for Caloia.
“This is a difficult case. We are learning every day about cases and especially this one, because a lot of stuff has been done, and sometimes you have to make a very hard decision and that’s what we had to do in this case.”
The District Attorney’s office had previously seemed confident about the guilt of all three defendants in the case. And Caloia was quoted after Mrs. Styler’s release as saying she wasn’t innocent-- even though defendants in the United States are innocent until proven guilty. When asked about it, Caloia said this:
“These three people are the only ones who really know what happened. And Ms. Pfister is dead… We can surmise, we can take statements, we can evaluate who’s lying and who’s telling the truth, but we really don’t know.”
Prosecutors say the new evidence will be revealed in court Friday morning. That’s when Carpenter and the third defendant, William Styler, are scheduled to go before a judge. That hearing will be an opportunity for either Carpenter or Mr. Styler to file a plea. Media recording of court proceedings has been restricted so far, but that may change on Friday. The TV network CBS has asked to tape what happens, and a judge is expected to rule on that soon.