GREELEY — Prosecutors in the murder trial of Kevin Dean Eastman called the murder of Scott Sessions an “ambush,” “a lie-in-wait” style murder and the subsequent murder of Heather Frank as the need for Eastman to silence the only witness to Sessions’ murder.
Chief Deputy District Attorney, Steve Wrenn’s arguments along that line were enough for Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow to bind Eastman over for trial on seven felony counts ranging from possession of a weapon by a previous offender to two counts of 1st Degree murder after deliberation.
“Deliberation can sometimes be mere seconds,” Kopcow said, citing case law to support his ruling to bind Eastman over for trial. Under Colorado law, Eastman will continue to be held without bail. He is scheduled to appear for an arraignment on Dec. 7 at 9 a.m.
If Eastman enters a plea of not guilty it is likely he will waive his right to a speedy trial and unlikely that his trial will begin until at least April. Both of his public defenders are due to be on maternity leave until the end of March 2021.
Kopcow made his ruling after final testimony in a two-day preliminary hearing that started on Oct. 15 with 8 hours of testimony into the evidence against the 48-year-old who has been in custody since his arrest for the crimes on Feb. 16.
Eastman was originally arrested by Larimer County Sheriff deputies in connection with the killing of 54-year-old Greeley musician Stanley Scott Sessions. Sessions was found dead near Old Flowers and Pingree Park roads in Bellvue, northwest of Fort Collins on Feb. 10. Sessions had not been seen since Feb. 8 when he told his father he was going to Fort Collins to see a friend.
Nearly a week after Sessions’ body was discovered, 48-year-old Greeley resident Heather Frank was found dead at a home east of Greeley, just off U.S. 34 in Kersey. It is unknown why Frank was at that location, or how long she had been dead. It is believed that Sessions’ death occurred Feb. 8. Frank’s body was found on Feb. 16 at a separate location.
Eastman, who appeared in Weld District Court via video from the Weld County Jail, where he has been held without bail since his arrest, is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Murder, two counts of tampering with a deceased human body, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
Wrenn said the autopsy on Sessions revealed he was killed by a sharp forced object to the neck and then his body burned.
“Scott Sessions was nearly decapitated by someone applying a lot of force to his neck by something very large and very sharp to an area of the body that would have produced a lot of blood,” Wrenn said.
Wrenn then said that when asked what kind of crime scene investigators would find at Frank’s house, Eastman told them “if they were any good they would find it,” and when asked where the blood was, he said “everywhere.”
A large pool of blood — about two feet in diameter and enough to soak through the carpet, pad and wood subfloor — was found near the front door of Frank’s home.
“Ultimately, the location of the blood, next to the front door, would indicate that Scott Sessions had his throat slit immediately upon entering the apartment,” Wrenn said. “The location and type … would suggest it was done from behind with little time for Scott to react.”
A member of Sessions’ family told Complete Colorado after the hearing that they were happy to know someone is going to finally be charged in the homicide — nearly a year later — adding they want the Frank family to know they have tremendous empathy for them as well.
Complete Colorado is not identifying the family member out of respect for their privacy.
“It’s been highly professional the way they’ve handled this,” he said about the proceedings. “It’s been fair to all parties involved. It’s been a long time, but after today I think it’s good that we can go to the next phase and get closer to justice, justice for our family, justice for the Frank family and justice for Kevin Eastman himself. Eastman has the opportunity to show whether he did or didn’t do. The constitution gives you right to a speedy trial, but people tend to forget the victims also have a right to that, and I think it’s good we’re getting to that point.”