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Law student jailed in forgery of letter

By ERIN SMITH
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Sept. 4, 2004

ALAMOSA - University of Denver law student Justin Tucker, 30, of Sanford, remains in jail in Denver on allegations of criminal impersonation, impersonating a peace officer, forgery and theft from the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s office, where he interned this past summer.

Tucker was arrested Monday in one of his law school classes at DU. He is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

District attorney’s investigator Shawn Woods stated in an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed Monday that Tucker allegedly sent a letter purportedly written by District Attorney Peter Comar to Billings, Mont., lawyer Solomon Neuhardt threatening criminal action against Judge Gregory Todd, who was involved in Tucker’s divorce action.

Woods’ affidavit states that Tucker was an intern in the office from June through August of this year and had access to the district attorney’s files, letterheads and computer system but was never allowed to use them.

The letter, included in the court filing, is on Comar’s letterhead and bears a scrawled, unreadable signature.

The Aug. 16 letter states that Tucker’s grandfather was a judge with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and that his brother-in-law is state Attorney General Ken Salazar. A Tucker family member who asked not to be identified said neither statement is true. Tucker comes from a well-known Conejos County family.

The purported letter from Comar states, "I have promised Mr. Tucker and his family if Mr. Tucker is affected adversely in any way, Judge Todd’s career will end."

Comar said he would not elaborate on the case, that the matter will be turned over to a special prosecutor and he did not know Neuhardt’s connection to Tucker, if any.