GREELEY — It will be nearly two years since the brutal slaying of two Greeley residents before the man accused of those murders finally goes to trial.
Kevin Dean Eastman was formally charged on Thursday in the deaths of Scott Sessions and Heather Frank in February 2020. He will turn 50 just four days into his trial.
During the hearing in which Eastman, through his attorneys, extended his right to a speedy trial by six months, Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow was careful to make sure Eastman understood what extending his trial speed to March 31, 2022 meant.
“In the past, your office has raised issues of competency,” Kopcow said to Eastman’s attorney Ashley Morriss. “He has been found competent to proceed. Despite that, I need to make sure he fully understands the consequences of his decision today.”
Morriss assured the court Eastman fully understood, yet Kopcow also spoke directly to Eastman and asked him the same thing.
“Yes I do, your honor,” Eastman replied from the Weld County Jail, where he has been held without bond since his arrest on Feb. 16, 2020.
Eastman’s initial speedy trial deadline ends Oct. 1, 2021. He and his attorneys agreed to extend it to March 31, 2022.
Eastman will next appear in court at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 11 for a full day motions hearing. Eastman’s attorneys asked for two half-day hearings instead, but their request was rejected by Kopcow.
A pretrial readiness hearing has been set for 1:15 p.m. on Dec. 21, at which time both sides will meet to make sure they are ready to go to trial.
The trial is set to begin on Jan. 10, 2022 and is expected to take nearly three weeks before being given to a jury for deliberation, as Morriss and her co-council asked for 14 trial days to get through what is expected to be thousands of pages of evidence, pictures and videos as well as testimony.
Eastman 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.
During a preliminary hearing in October 2020, prosecutors called the murder of Sessions an “ambush,” “a lie-in-wait” style murder and the subsequent murder of Frank as the need for Eastman to silence the only witness to Sessions’ murder.
Complete Colorado has been following this case since the beginning. Links to all of Complete Colorado’s coverage on this case can be found by clicking here.
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