Denver D.A. Investigating Claims Against Haggard
Legal Expert Weighs In On Likelihood
By Anna Jensen
November 6, 2006
Former pastor and evangelical leader Ted Haggard has been accused of using drugs and carrying on a relationship with gay male prostitute Mike Jones. Now that he's admitted to some drug involvement, will anything happen legally?
The El Paso County District Attorney's office isn't shedding any light on what may happen, saying they can't comment because the Denver D.A. is actively investigating the claims. Jones claims he hooked Haggard up with a meth dealer. Defense attorney Dennis Hartley says the biggest hurdle for prosecutors would be to find the actual dealer to provide independent evidence.
The Denver D.A. needs to show probable cause, which Hartley says would most likely be accomplished by a grand jury indictment. He thinks, with what's come out so far, it's a weak case. He says Haggard's letter admitting to some guilt is "vague and innocuous."
To move to trial, the prosecution would have many elements to prove:
-The crime happened within the statute of limitations, which is 3 years. Time is a factor.
-Exactly where the crime occurred.
-Haggard knowingly possessed a schedule 2 illegal substance, in this case, methamphetamine.
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