Elbert County

Teacher murder case shrouded in secrecy

Suspect Dan Pesch to face preliminary hearing in March

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The man accused of killing former Kiowa High School teacher Randy Wilson in 2010 will have a preliminary hearing on March 30, marking the first time the public will hear many details in the case, which has been shrouded in secrecy since the arrest of suspect Dan Pesch in December.

Wilson, 52, was found dead at the intersection of County Line and Kiowa-Bennett roads on a cold and rainy day in June 2010. No suspects were ever named in the case.

Pesch, 34, seems to have moved to the Denver area from Summit County in spring 2017, according to social media posts. He appears to have two young daughters.

He was arrested Dec. 19 in Littleton and charged with first-degree murder, resisting arrest, obstructing an officer and attempting to escape.

A judge signed a gag order at the time of Pesch's arrest, meaning the arrest affidavit — normally public information — is unavailable. Court hearing dates have not been posted to the state docket search website, and no listing for the arrest exists on a state database of criminal offenses.

The secrecy is to protect the integrity of the investigation and prosecution, said 18th Judicial District spokeswoman Vikki Migoya.

Prosecutors will present their case to Judge Robert Lung on March 30. In a preliminary hearing, the prosecution attempts to convince a judge that they have enough evidence to proceed to trial. A trial date has not yet been set.

Pesch's prosecution is being led by 18th Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, who in 2003 pursued sexual assault charges against basketball star Kobe Bryant, against whom charges were dropped after the accuser declined to testify. Pesch is being represented by public defenders Annelise Garlin and Elizabeth Orton. He is being held in the Elbert County Jail in Kiowa, which shares a building with the court.

Wilson was a popular teacher at Kiowa High School, where he had taught physics and calculus for a decade, according to news reports from the time of his death. An obituary for Wilson said he had five sons, and had previously taught at several Christian schools around the country and as far away as an island in the Pacific.

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