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University of Colorado student enters not guilty menacing plea

Threatening harm to instill fear in a victim can be a crime. Menacing might be described as an assault by words or actions because in some cases, no injury actually occurs. For example, a stalker might be charged with menacing – the threat of violence is there without direct contact with a victim.

A University of Colorado student, accused of four felony menacing counts in late May, recently entered a not guilty plea. The case will move to trial in Boulder District Court next February. The continuing education student also was charged with a petty theft offense and misdemeanors for obstructing an officer and resisting arrest.

Reports said police responded to a cab driver's complaint. The taxi driver reported an intoxicated student cheated him out of a fare. The student apparently argued with the driver. The young man then ran from the cab -- without paying -- to his University Hill apartment building, where the defendant reportedly pointed a weapon at responding officers.

The officers then opened fire and shot the student several times. The only weapon investigators later found in the defendant's apartment was a pellet gun. Two officers were injured during the standoff – one by a bullet fragment from another officer's gun and the other while breaking a window to gain access to the defendant's building.

The district attorney declared the officers could not be blamed for misconduct. The defendant remains free on $10,000 bond. A conviction for the Colorado Class 5 felony can result in a prison term of up to four years.

Brandishing a weapon or threatening to use a weapon can be enough to warrant a felony menacing charge. A deadly or dangerous weapon is an object, sometimes other than a gun, that can be used to inflict severe injury or cause death. Menacing is an extremely serious offense, one that defendants should not face without legal representation.

Source: Daily Camera, "CU student shot by Boulder police in University Hill standoff set for 2015 trial" Mitchell Byars, Aug. 22, 2014

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