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Judge denies defense's motions to suppress evidence against former Arapahoe County social worker Robin Niceta

False medical records submitted by former defense will be used in upcoming trial
Niceta and her attorney, Frank Moya
Robin Niceta
Posted at 10:23 PM, Jul 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-06 14:13:43-04

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Wednesday, prosecutors in the Robin Niceta case walked away with a few courtroom wins after a judge ruled to allow false medical records to be used against Niceta and denied the defense's motions to suppress evidence in the case.

The former Arapahoe County social worker is accused of making a false child abuse report against Aurora Councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky after the councilwoman publically attacked Niceta's then-partner, former Aurora police chief Vanessa Wilson.

Wednesday in court, a judge ruled Niceta’s county-issued cell phone and laptop devices will serve as evidence in the upcoming trial, despite the defense’s arguments against it. Dan Perkins, employment lawyer for the Arapahoe County government, testified as a witness in court, stating Niceta signed multiple acknowledgments of county policy as an employee.

“There is no expectation of privacy for any data issued on [county] cell phones, laptops…” Perkins said.

The judge also denied the defense’s motion to suppress statements made by Niceta in a May 2022 interview with Arapahoe Sgt. John Turnidge, who testified Wednesday. Niceta’s defense argued at one point during the recorded interview, Niceta attempted to revoke counsel, requesting any statements she made after that to Sgt. Turnidge be struck from evidence. However, the judge pointed out Niceta withdrew her own revocation, after making the statement “I’ll keep talking.” Those statements will now be used as evidence.

In March, Niceta's former defense team entered medical records to the court suggesting she had an aggressive brain cancer and was unfit to stand trial. Both the judge and Niceta’s new defense now agree those documents were fabricated.

“As the court is aware, the People have recently concluded that these documents are fake and that Ms. Niceta does not suffer from any type of brain cancer,” Daniel Cohen, special prosecutor for the DA’s office, wrote in a June notice to the court.

Niceta’s former defense team filed a motion on May 11, dropping her as a client once information concerning the validity of the medical records they submitted on her behalf became public. She is currently being represented by a new defense attorney, who argued in court Wednesday the false documents were submitted by Niceta’s former defense and not Niceta herself, therefore should be suppressed as evidence.

"An innocent person would not go to the great lengths of fabricating a brain tumor diagnosis," Cohen wrote in the June notice on behalf of the prosecution. "This consciousness of guilt is evidence that the defendant committed the crime which she is trying to evade."

Wednesday, a judge granted the prosecution’s motion to submit the false documents as evidence, stating they were both relevant to the upcoming trial and serve as consciousness of guilt.

Niceta will appear virtually in a July 28 pretrial readiness hearing. Wednesday in court, the judge cleared the prosecution to appear via Webex due to a scheduling conflict. The judge then approved the same for Niceta, after her defense raised the cost of travel for their client.

Niceta will appear in person for her August 1 trial date.

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