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Nathan Yager

Over the years, the news media has been misused to distort the truth pertaining to many tragedies that have occurred. Depending on the agenda, career or emotions at that point, somehow the facts get lost. The following transcript of a restraining order hearing (Case #10C174) on January 7, 2011 that has remained disregarded by the public, reveals the truth about a preventable tragedy that occurred approximately an hour later. A murder case that could have been prevented by today’s standards. The purpose of this post is to rectify false media reports, rumors in the community and inform the public about the benefits of this state legislature to prevent these atrocities from happening in the future.

When untenable situations are brought to law enforcement and the court, it is their responsibility as the moral governors of the community to mitigate potentially volatile acts. Whether it is the act of stalking, brandishing a firearm or any other potentially violent issue, domestic violence situations require a degree of urgency when reported. Lately the criminal justice system has made a business out of convicting and incarcerating individuals for these charges, but neglect to work to protect those that ask for help.

In 2020, Colorado enacted a "Red Flag" law under HB19-1177 and amended Colorado Revised Statute 13-14.5-105 for implementation of an "Extreme Risk Protection Order". This legislation was proposed by Deputy Zakari Parrish III and based off of the Violence/Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991. The purpose was to prevent such tragedies by outlining the criteria based on historic domestic violence events, potential threats and prior involvement of law enforcement to mitigate potentially dangerous interactions.

The correlation between the attached restraining order hearing and the Red Flag Law is significant. This is a situation where a presiding judge disregarded the proceeding events, neglected to defuse a potentially violent situation that empowered a stalker and became another fatal statistic. In order to prevent similar outcomes, society needs to know the truth about these events. Although the legislation in Colorado was nine years behind, the need for this type of mitigation through the use of restraining orders was necessary nonetheless.

These are a few requirements to issue an extreme risk restraining order as per C.R.S. 13-14.5-105 in subsection (3) and the quotes throughout the transcript that meet each of the requirements that follow:

a) A credible act or credible threat of violence by the respondent against self or others, whether or not such violence or credible threat of violence involves a firearm.

(R.O. Transcript page 23, lines 8-9)

"OFFICER HART: He told me that she had a handgun and was possibly suicidal."

f) The respondent’s ownership, access to or intent to possess a firearm.

(R.O. Transcript, page 54, lines 19-23)

"MS. YAGER: I own a Glock 22 and an AR15. I carried those both when I worked in nuclear security in California."

"MR. YAGER: So you would say you're proficient with the Glock 22, correct? "

"MS. YAGER: And on AR 15, yes."

g) A credible threat of or the unlawful or reckless use of a firearm by the respondent.

( R.O. Transcript page 55, lines 4-25)

"MR. YAGER: Did you chamber a round the day in question on April 26th during an argument that we had in the living room? "

"MS. YAGER: There's always a round in the chamber of that Glock 22 in my. . . "

"MR. YAGER: Yes or no. "

"MS. YAGER: Yes . . . or, no, I didn't chamber it then, no. It's always had a round in the chamber. "

*MR. YAGER: Your first response was yes. Is it yes or no that you chambered the round that day? "

"MS. YAGER: No, that day I did not chamber a round. "

"MR. YAGER: So you did pull . . . "

"MR. VAUGHN: Objection, to where badgering the witness."

"THE COURT: You need to let her finish her response before you ask the next question."

" MR. YAGER: Yes, Your Honor. "

" MS. YAGER: No. August . . . or April, whatever day you're saying, I did not chamber a round. It already had one in it. "

" MR. YAGER: What would be the purpose of keeping a loaded firearm on your possession at all times? "

" MS. YAGER: It's been like that since I moved in with you. That's how I had it when I lived alone. That's how I carried it at work in my holster. That's how ever since I bought the Glock22."

h) The history of use, attempted use or threatened use of unlawful physical force by the respondent against another person or the respondent’s history of stalking another person as described in Section 18-3-602.

(R.O. Transcript page 16, lines 3-5)

"MR. YAGER . . . December 3rd, 2010, 10:35 p.m., Melinda Tackett Yager texted me 'Girlfriend over watching our daughter while you're outside helping people. ' Nice. CFI here we come.'

(And lines 23-24)

"MR. YAGER . . . She responds back, 'Just protecting my daughter and I'm sorry you live next to eating establishments.'"

k) Whether the respondent is required to possess, carry or use a firearm as a condition of the respondent’s current employment.

(R.O. Transcript page 58, lines 18-25)

"MR. VAUGHN: Ms. Yager, you did submit an application for TSA? "

"MS. YAGER: April of 2010, yes."

"MR. VAUGHN: Okay. And once Kaylee is old enough and things are settled one way or another in your divorce case are you hopeful maybe to get that job?"

"MS. YAGER: Yes, it's a long process."

"MR. VAUGHN: Okay. If you had a protection order and..."

(Continued on page 59, lines 1-12)

"MR. VAUGHN : ..weren't allowed to carry a firearm, how would that affect your ability to get that job? "

"MS. YAGER: I wouldn't get it. "

"MR. VAUGHN: Is that something that Mr. Yager has mentioned to you before?"

"MS. YAGER: He said when he thought I was going to school for police academy, because I met with Steven Dunovan and took the test at the Vo-Tach, I have a text from him that says, 'I'll remind them that you pulled a gun on an unarmed person.' And then my friend that he moved in with texted me that she'll let TSA know about harassing her and then I won't get that job. So it's been yes, him and friends."

For years the local media has suggested that this restraining order hearing was against Nathan Yager, however he was the Petitioner working to de-escalate the contentious situation. After reviewing the transcript, would a court order enacted by the presiding judge change the trajectory of that day? The transcript posted is a small glimpse into the past of a sexist approach to restraining orders initiated by a male in Delta County. As Mr. Yager exited the courtroom that day, the court reporter conveniently left out Judge Sandra Miller's parting comment, "You're a big strong guy so you can handle it."

Approximately one hour later, an altercation occurred between the Petitioner and Respondent that resulted in criminal case (11CR003) against the Petitioner who right away turned himself in to law enforcement that same day. The Delta County Justice System has used Colorado Revised Statutes to prevent this information from being used for trial defense, thus avoiding negative publicity towards negligence on behalf of the court. Another common practice utilized is to release disinformation to the media to influence potential jurors and remove any presumption of innocence prior to trial.

The first criminal trial conviction was overturned by the State Court of Appeals (13CA0602), due to the presiding judge's decision to remove Mr. Yager's affirmative defense prior to jury deliberation. A second trial was granted in which assigned public defense counsel neglected to investigate information, preserve due process rights and effectively prepare for retrial. As a result, Mr. Yager was reconvicted and sentenced to 42 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. He has spent the last twelve years litigating against judicial/prosecutorial misconduct through post-conviction claims. The information posted should be enough to warrant a proportionality review for a potential sentence reduction or have it vacated altogether, however it is the opinion of the Delta County Justice System that the court's decision is past the point of reversal.

After reviewing the information about this miscarriage of justice, please add your information to the online petition for case review. Or send an email to voice your opinion about this unjust persecution of Nathan Yager. There can be no justice without TRUTH. The court played a major role in the events of January 7, 2011. Five of the twelve conditions were present showing that Nathan was at risk for harm. The court should have granted his restraining order to stop Melinda, along with her friends and family, from the unrelenting provocation, harassments and stalking. It was MELINDA that went after Nathan after protection was denied. The truth was never fully presented at trial. Even a juror stated that the 42 year sentence "was extreme". Time to hold this corrupt and unjust system accountable and release Nathan with time served. Help us to accomplish that. You never know when a situation like this could be Your Loved One!

To obtain a copy of the transcript, please email your request to yager@gwtc.net.

Please click this link to sign Nathan's petition asking authorities to review his case to be released for time served. Please note that you do not have to make a donation to sign this petition.