ALAMOSA — Charges related to the shooting of a codefendant were dismissed against Shem Brown, 27, of Monte Vista, on Tuesday while a murder case against Brown continued to move through the court system.
Brown is one of four codefendants charged with the August 9, 2018 murder of Mathias Fritz, 40, in Alamosa. He was scheduled for a first appearance in district court in that case before District Judge Michael Gonzales on Tuesday. With no opposition from District Attorney Crista Newmyer-Olsen, Brown’s attorney Riley Selleck requested another first appearance this spring to give time to obtain results from Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) evidence testing.
“There’s important pending discovery we are waiting on from CBI,” Selleck said. “We’re not sure when that will arrive.”
Selleck said one of Brown’s codefendants was scheduled again in April for the same reason, waiting on CBI results, so he suggested the same time frame might work in this case as well. Selleck added that he knew that was going out a bit far and if the judge wanted to schedule it sooner, he would work with that.
Newmyer-Olsen agreed with Selleck’s request. She said CBI is testing numerous items of evidence, and everyone is just waiting for the results at this point.
Judge Gonzales scheduled the continued first appearance for April 2.
Brown and codefendants Robert Martinez, 29, Shawndon McVey, 25, and Phillip Medina, 36, are charged with murder, kidnapping, robbery and other related charges associated with the murder of Fritz and the shooting of his girlfriend who survived.
Brown was also charged in connection with the non-fatal shooting of McVey, who was allegedly shot by Martinez following the Fritz murder because McVey wanted to go to the police. Brown was allegedly present when McVey was shot.
In that case Brown was charged with felony accessory to a crime, first-degree assault, sentence enhancer crime of violence and felony retaliation against a witness or victim.
The case regarding Brown’s involvement in McVey’s shooting was dismissed on Tuesday at the request of the district attorney. Brown had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Alamosa County Court in that case.
Newmyer-Olsen told Alamosa County Judge Daniel Walzl that after speaking with McVey, the victim in that case, she was requesting that the case be dismissed against Brown.
“In the interest of justice we move to dismiss this case and focus on the other case involving the same parties,” Newmyer-Olsen told the judge.
Determining that the DA complied with the Victims Rights Act, Judge Walzl granted her request to dismiss the case related to McVey.
Newmyer-Olsen said that if the case involving McVey’s shooting were to go to trial, McVey would likely testify that if it were not for Brown’s actions, he (McVey) might not have survived. In an earlier hearing regarding charges against codefendant Martinez, testimony was shared that Martinez had wanted to finish McVey off after shooting him but Brown persuaded him not to. In that hearing, testimony reflected McVey’s and Brown’s roles in the Fritz crime as assisting in restraining Fritz and his girlfriend and robbing Fritz of drugs and money.