‘Red flag’ hearing set for man who allegedly threatened to kill metro-area DA

Problem Solvers
Data pix.

BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) -- A 34-year-old Denver man accused of threatening to kill Adams County District Attorney Dave Young has a Red Flag hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Steven Zorn is currently in the Adams County Detention Center facing charges for threats he allegedly made against Young and others.

On Feb. 26, an Adams County judge approved a Westminster police detective's warrant to search Zorn's home for a possible shotgun he exhibited during a 2018 domestic violence incident. The FOX31 Problem Solvers have learned Adams County deputies sent to search the home did not find any weapons.

The extreme risk protection order (ERPO) was filed on Feb. 26 after prosecutors charged Zorn with two counts of retaliation against a prosecutor and harassment. According to the arrest affidavit, Zorn called the Juvenile and Adult Diversion Office for Adams County and asked, "How would I justify killing Dave Young, his wife and children?"

Dave Young, 17th Judicial District Attorney

Young is the 17th Judicial District Attorney. The district covers Adams and Broomfield counties.

According to both the arrest affidavit and the ERPO, Zorn told Levon Hupfer, the director of the Juvenile and Adult Diversion Office, "Dave Young has caused so much suffering at the hands of the terrorist and evil government.....I am considering the lawful killing of Dave Young, his children and you and your children."

Court documents suggest Zorn was upset about a 2018 domestic violence case that Zorn said he had been acquitted of. The case does not appear in a public records search, which means Zorn might have successfully had the case expunged.

According to the warrant for the ERPO, part of the allegation in the 2018 case "was that Mr. Zorn retrieved a shotgun and presented it in a non-threatening manner to the victim. Mr. Zorn said that if the police were to arrive he would use it. That shotgun was never recovered during the investigation."

Later, the same court document revealed "In December 2019 Denver Police Officers went to Mr. Zorn's residence. Mr. Zorn was in possession of several firearms that belonged to a friend. That friend was not legally able to possess the firearms due to a criminal case....Mr. Zorn relinquished the firearms. The shotgun from the 2018 incident was not recovered."

Steve Zorn/2018 photo while running for Political Office

In 2018, Zorn ran for political office as a Democrat -- first to be the Adams County treasurer and then for House District 32 before quitting both races to enter the U.S. House Congressional District 7 seat as a write-in candidate. He lost badly to incumbent Democratic Rep. Ed Pearlmutter.

In August 2019, Zorn was charged with trying to influence a public servant. According to the arrest affidavit, he emailed Adams County Commissioner Steve O'Dorisio stating, "Here are your options:
1. Pay me $3 million dollars for the wrong doing against me by Adams County.
2. Quit"
Her later added, "It appears you have chose option 3. I will be holding you and your bloodline accountable for your actions."

To avoid a conflict of interest in the case of O'Dorisio, the case was assigned to prosecutors in Jefferson County. But in December 2019, Jefferson County prosecutors dismissed the charges, citing an insufficient belief of "a reasonable probability of success at trial."

O'Dorisio, who happens to be a former prosecutor in Adams County, told investigative reporter Rob Low by email, "Unfortunately, the charges were dismissed by the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office who felt the threats were not specific enough. It was obviously enough to cause my family concern ... Since that time, my concern has been the escalating nature of Mr. Zorn's threats and behavior toward my colleagues and other public servants."

When detectives searched Zorn's home on Feb. 26 for a possible shotgun, they found a blue locked safe box but no weapons. The box was returned to Zorn's roommate.

Zorn still faces a preliminary hearing March 18 for criminal counts for the threats he allegedly made against Young, Hupfer and Deputy District Attorney Brian Mason.

While detectives found no weapons at Zorn's home when it was searched Feb. 26, Adams County District Judge Edward Moss could still extend an ERPO at Wednesday's red flag hearing. Such a decision would prevent Zorn from legally buying a firearm for a year.

Zorn has been in custody since Feb. 25 on a $10,000 bond that as of Tuesday afternoon, he has yet to post.

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