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11th Judicial District Judge Patrick Murphy convened a brief advisement hearing, Feb. 1 in the matter of the recent closure of the Chaffee Childcare Initiative’s “Schoolhouse” in Poncha Springs.

Judge Murphy stated that he would conduct the advisement hearing with defendants and their attorneys in virtual attendance, with Deputy District Attorney Joanne Morando, the media and three members of the Chaffee Sheriff’s office present in the courtroom.

The historic Poncha Springs Schoolhouse now houses the Chaffee Childcare Initiative daycare. Photo by Jan Wondra

Prior to individually advising Amy Lovato, Executive Director of The Schoolhouse and Center Director Roberta Rodriguez, Murphy stated that he was recusing himself from the matter, without stating a specific reason. He then noted that the cases are being assigned to Park County Judge Brian Green.

Based on an agreement with Lovato’s attorney (Jason Flores-Williams) and Rodriguez’s attorney (Adam Tucker), the next hearing is set for 9:00 a.m. on Feb. 7 for Lovato and 10:00 a.m. on the same day for Rodriguez.

Both attorneys indicated they were about to enter “not guilty” pleas on behalf of their clients, but agreed to hold that until the next hearing.

The final action of this hearing was to address a “no contact” order as requested by Deputy D.A. Morando. Judge Murphy stated that he was required to grant these orders. Individually, Lovato and Rodriguez were advised and agreed that they were not to have any contact with Erica and Dane De Voy and their child as well as Michelle and Will Seligman and their child. Contact includes, face to face, writings, email, texting, direct messaging, or via third parties.

Editor note: Michelle Seligman self-identified and was present in the courtroom for this hearing but did not make any request to address the Court at this time.