The state Supreme Court has agreed to appeal the definition of “kidnapping” and the calculation of property tax on a luxury mountain resort.
In the announcements released on Monday, judges said they were reviewing whether a court judge correctly identified kidnapping as a criminal offense that occurs when someone is seized and promoted. This includes “every movement, no matter how short it is”.
The case originated in Gilpin County, where a jury found Nicholas Leonel Garcia Jr. guilty of kidnapping and other crimes. Garcia and his staff kidnapped their victim from a Black Hawk casino, robbed him and drove him to Denver.
After the jury asked for clarification on what was abduction, the judge gave the defense’s objections the additional definition that applied to each movement. In a 2: 1 vote, an appeals court found that the judge’s additional comment correctly reflected the law.
Judge Jaclyn Casey Brown disagreed, believing that the judge of the court improperly replaced the “seized and conveyed” item expressly provided in the law with his subsequent comment to the jury on the move. Brown also believed that the additional instruction should have indicated a significant increase in the risk to the victim.
The court “effectively reduced the burden of proof on prosecutors and may have enabled the jury to convict Garcia on legally inadequate grounds,” she wrote.
The Supreme Court will determine whether the Appellate Body majority was correct to uphold the supplementary instruction.
A complaint from Vail Resorts was also accepted for consideration, contesting the arrangement of a separate appellate body to include rental income and ancillary costs in the wealth tax assessment.
The company owns the lodge at the Vail Resort and Hotel, which includes 80 hotel rooms and 74 separately owned condominiums. Both types of accommodations are interconnected and have access to the same amenities, with Vail subsidiaries managing the condos.
The Eagle County appraiser valued the lodge’s taxable properties at more than $ 40 million, but Vail Resorts claimed the figure should be half that. The three-person appellate court upheld the higher rating, agreeing that the portion of condominium rental income that went to Vail Resorts plus the fees for amenities should be part of the rating.
The judges will now weigh the legitimacy of this calculation.