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BASE Jumper Cleared by Court

By adminon - Read 1606 times

Westminster man who smashed window trying to parachute off hotel has landed an acquittal. Harry Caylor found a thrill to match jumping off downtown buildings -- in a first-floor courtroom of Denver District Court on Wednesday. A four-woman, two-man jury had just acquitted the 31-year-old Westminster man of reckless endangerment. "I'm about to have an aneurysm," Caylor joked, noting that the feeling was similar to what he goes through in as a BASE jumper.

"Racing pulse. Pounding heart. Sweaty palms," Caylor said before hugging his friends and lawyer.

Prosecutors had charged Caylor in a botched Oct. 2 parachute jump that ended with his smashing through a window on the 21st floor of Embassy Suites.

They contended that glass fragments would have rained down upon a hotel concierge on 19th Street if she had not stopped to pick up a pen beneath a canopy.

But Caylor's lawyer Gage Fellows argued that it was just an accident and that the concierge, or doorkeeper, was not in harm's way.

Fellows also emphasized the precautions Caylor took before jumping. He also pointed out that there is no law in Denver against BASE jumping, which stands for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth.

Those arguments proved persuasive, said jury forewoman Larissa Hernandez-Ottinger.

"We felt he took a lot of precautions," she said. "He planned this out carefully.

"Something did go wrong, which is bad. But because of all the precautions he took, no one was injured."

Juror Cecilia Sambrano said she agreed that the concierge did not appear to have been in danger.

And several jurors said they believe the city ought to have a law against BASE jumping off public buildings. But since no such law exists, they saw their verdict as a separate issue.

Hernandez-Ottinger said the jury might have convicted Caylor if he had been charged with trespass.

Prosecutors did not file that charge, in part, because a door leading to the roof had been left unlocked, said Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver district attorney's office.

"I'm still sorry I did it, and I'm definitely guilty of breaking their glass," said Caylor, adding he had offered to reimburse the hotel.

But he was elated with the verdict.

"We're going to name a cliff in Moab, Utah, after Judge Doris Burd," the trial judge, he said. "And we'll name a cliff for every one of the jurors."



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