SAGUACHE COUNTY — Literally hundreds of readers have been inquiring about the verdict in Steven Heimberg’s murder trial last week but no further information on the case beyond the jury’s not guilty verdict was available until press time.
Wednesday morning, District Attorney Crista Newmyer-Olsen wrote in an email:
“The jury deliberated from approximately 1:15 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. the next day” [Nov. 21-22, breaking to return home and back the next morning-Ed]. “I wasn’t present for closing arguments. The trial was handled by [assistant district attorneys] Merida Zerbi and Robert Willett. Generally, the People asserted that it was pre-meditated or reckless murder and the Defense asserted that it was self-defense. That, of course, is the most simplistic explanation of what was a complex and emotional case for all involved. Our entire justice system is designed to address these tough cases, the cases that just aren’t black-and-white. In this instance, all the litigants worked hard to get the information to the jury and the jury worked hard to come to a decision. Our sympathies continue to go out to the family of Mr. Wharton in this difficult time.”