Steve Pankey appointed public defender after defense withdraws following partial mistrial

Local News

GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) — Update: 1:30 p.m. 11/8: Steve Pankey will have new representation for a potential second trial, after his attorney, Anthony Viorst, withdrew himself from the case Monday in court.

Pankey will now be represented by the public defender’s office, which asked the court for more time to review the case before making a call on if it was appropriate to move forward with a trial.

A new hearing has been set for Nov. 17 at 1:15 p.m. Judge Timothey Kerns said the court will not modify Pankey’s bond, which was set at 5 million cash.

Pankey decided to toll his right to a speedy trial during Monday’s hearing. You can watch the hearing on FOX31 NOW in the player above.

Original Story: The Weld County District Attorney will have a decision to make Monday afternoon, whether or not to refile charges against Steve Pankey, the man accused of murdering and kidnapping Jonelle Matthews.

Matthews disappeared from her home in Greeley on Dec. 20, 1984. Her remains were found in July 2019 at a construction site.

A jury could not reach an agreement on whether Pankey was guilty of murder and kidnapping in the case. The jury did find him guilty of lying to authorities.

Pankey is scheduled to be back in court on 1:15 p.m. Monday. The hearing will address whether or not the state will refile three charges related to murder and kidnapping, but also discuss the bond and sentencing for a guilty verdict on lying to authorities.

Pankey took the stand during the final days of the trial, and said that he is a liar, not a murderer.

“The truth is that I made a lot of stuff up out of bitterness for things that happened to me at Sunny View and for things that happened to me at 7UP and my revenge on them was to, and because I hated the police, it was all in one to say ‘I’ve got information that you want and you can’t have it,’” Pankey said on the stand. “It was a polite way of flipping the bird. It was pure hatred at that point.”

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