Club Q Update: Judge denies defense attorneys their request for a delay in preliminary hearing

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
After a mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, a makeshift memorial grows outside the LGBTQ club on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump and Raymond Green Vance were killed in the shooting.

A judge denied a request Friday to delay a preliminary hearing for the suspected Club Q shooter. 

The public defender's office had asked for more time to go over what they described as a "voluminous” and “overwhelming” amount of evidence in the case – including video footage of the entire shooting, according to prosecutors. That includes 5,000 pages of documents and more than a terabyte of digital files including 911 calls, surveillance video and witness interviews from the Nov. 19 shooting.

Defense Attorney Joseph Archambault said his team would not be able to review "even a small, tiny fraction" of the evidence shared by the District Attorney's office due to upcoming trials in other cases and the short amount of time between hearings.

"We will not be able to be constitutionally effective at that date," he said, referencing the preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 22, 2023.

Judge Michael McHenry emphatically denied the request, suggesting new counsel might be more effective if current representation was unable to get through the records.

"You're going to be here, and you're going to hear every word the witnesses in this case have to say," McHenry said. "And you will have the opportunity to cross-examine them."

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether enough evidence exists to bind a defendant over for trial.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen agreed to share a list of witnesses with the defense more than two weeks prior to the scheduled hearing as well as a list of exhibits they plan to formally introduce in court.

McHenry also accepted a motion by the prosecution to file additional charges in the case this week, pushing the number to 317 total counts including first-degree murder, attempted murder and hate crimes. Allen said the new charges come from the identification of two more victims who survived the attack.

Anderson Alrdrich was in-court for the hearing. It is the suspect's second court appearance this week.

On Wednesday, a different judge denied a motion to hold the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in contempt of court for allegedly leaking information from sealed court documents to the media.

Aldrich is being held without bond for the killings of five people at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. At least 22 others were injured in the shooting. 

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