September 5, 2016
Embattled former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and two subordinates are due in court Tuesday on charges of extortion, witness tampering and false imprisonment.
Maketa, former undersheriff Paula Presley and former commander Juan “John” San Agustin are scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday before 4th Judicial District Judge Larry E. Schwartz.
The trio were indicted in May on various abuses of power at the Sheriff’s Office – a stunning blow after months of allegations lodged against them by deputies under their command.
Maketa, 51, and Presley, 52, each face nine counts. San Agustin, 46, is charged with two felonies.
An El Paso County grand jury believes the three worked together to coerce a domestic violence victim into recanting her story to protect the deputy she claimed had punched her, leading to her arrest and wrongful incarceration.
Maketa is also believed to have threatened to end a $5.2 million contract with the county’s jail health care provider unless the company terminated an employee who had refused to run for Presley’s aborted sheriff campaign in 2013.
In 2002 Maketa was elected to his first of three terms as sheriff. He survived a recall attempt in July 2014, but resigned on Dec. 31, 2014 – two weeks before his term was scheduled to end.
Maketa has retained high-profile attorney Pamela Mackey, who has represented professional athletes Kobe Bryant and Patrick Roy. Presley is defended by attorney Patrick Burke. According to court documents, San Agustin is represented by Denver defense attorney Iris Eytan.
Attorneys for Maketa and Presley have filed motions to dismiss the indictment, court records show.