Friday, May 29, 2009

Warrant issued for Don Armstrong's arrest was a mistake due to "communications mixup" between attorney's office and court clerk

Breaking News from the Colorado Springs Gazette:

For about 48 hours, the Rev. Donald Armstrong was a wanted man.

A judge issued a bench warrant for Armstrong on Wednesday after he failed to show for an initial court appearance.

But the warrant was quashed Friday after Armstrong's lawyer, Dennis Hartley, explained to the court that it was a communications mixup between his office and the court clerk.

"It would have been an easy thing to have him appear," Hartley told The Gazette on Friday. "Don never knew he needed to appear. We told him he didn't have to appear."

A grand jury on May 20 returned an indictment charging Armstrong with 20 counts of felony theft that allegedly occurred while Armstrong was rector of Grace Church & St. Stephen's downtown. Hartley said that when Armstrong left the jail, he was given a court date of May 27.

That date, however, didn't work for either Hartley or the Pueblo District Attorney's office, which is acting as special prosecutor in the case. Hartley said his office thought they had the matter rescheduled for June 10, until they learned about the bench warrant.

Armstrong was rector of Grace Church & St. Stephen's from 1987 to 2007. In March 2007, the Grace vestry voted to leave the Episcopal Church to join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America with Armstrong as rector.

The CANA parish is now called St. George's Anglican Church and meets in the Mountain Shadows area.

Read it all here.

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