Second skills assessment requested in Fourmile Canyon murder case
Lawyers for the man accused in a 2019 Fourmile Canyon murder have requested a second assessment of his fitness to stand trial.
Stephen Christopher Wolf, 28, is charged with first degree murder after deliberation, felony murder, first degree burglary, second degree burglary, tampering with a deceased human body, escape from vehicle and tampering of physical evidence in the death of Jeffrey Michael Lynch, 57.
Wolf was declared incompetent to continue in September and ordered to undergo restorative efforts at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. After some time, Wolf was taken to a public hospital in June.
During a review hearing on Monday, Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill noted that Wolf was now back in the Boulder County Jail, although he declined to appear at the hearing in person or by video.
Mulvahill did not note the findings of the state’s assessment, but said Wolf’s attorneys, Mary Claire Mulligan and Beth Kelley, had sought a second opinion.
Mulvahill noted that Wolf’s attorneys, under state law, had the right to seek a second opinion, and Boulder County Assistant District Attorney Christian Gardner-Wood did not object.
He is now scheduled for a further review hearing on September 16. He will remain in detention without bail.
According to an arrest affidavit, Lynch was reported missing on July 30, 2019, after failing to report to his girlfriend the previous Sunday.
Lynch was a general contractor and had been working on a vacant house on Camino Bosque in Fourmile Canyon, so the owners went to see if Lynch was there. The owners arrived to find Wolf, whom they did not know, sitting in Lynch’s car in the garage.
The owner confronted Wolf, who said he was there to clean up before saying the police were after him. The owner said she hadn’t hired anyone other than Lynch to work on the house and called the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
When deputies arrived, they found Wolf carrying shovels in a garbage bag, according to the affidavit. Wolf saw the deputies and ran into the garage, but the two deputies were able to handcuff him.
Deputies searched Lynch’s car and found his body wrapped in plastic in the trunk of the vehicle.
The coroner’s office ruled Lynch’s cause of death to be “lethal violence by unspecified means”. Although the report could not specify the exact injuries sustained by Lynch, in part due to the decomposition of the body, a medical examiner ruled the manner of death to be homicide.
Prosecutors said Wolf, who had tried to evade police after a traffic stop two days before he was found with the body, broke into the house in the hope of finding fuel for his car and killed Lynch upon finding him in the house.
Wolf was also charged with attempted first degree murder and second degree assault after he apparently assaulted an inmate at the jail.