Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Former Gunnison resident accused of threatening local judge

Being held on $1 million bond

By Katherine Nettles

A former local resident was arrested on September 24 for allegedly threatening a local judge. Brett Andrew Nelson, age 41, is currently incarcerated in the Gunnison Detention Center with a $1 million bond for obstruction of justice and retaliation against a judge, as well as three additional bonds from other warrants.

According to the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office and the Gunnison Police Department, Nelson had pre-existing arrest warrants for failure to appear in court for other charges, including larceny. Nelson formerly resided in Gunnison County.

The Gunnison Police Department received a new report on September 15 from 7th Judicial District, Gunnison County judge Ashley Burgemeister alleging that Nelson had been repeatedly making threatening phone calls to her.

The Gunnison Police Department filed an arrest warrant after this incident including an affidavit with details of the incident. According to that affidavit, an officer with the Gunnison Police Department responded to Judge Burgemeister’s home at 7:31 p.m. on September 15.

The officer stated that, “Nelson was calling judge Burgemeister’s phone on my arrival. I advised her to answer Nelson’s call as I was audio recording.”

The affidavit then details the content of the call as transcribed to the Gunnison County Court, and the content of several others made to judge Burgemeister that evening by the same suspect.

The caller identified himself as “Brett Andrew, house of Nelson.” He stated repeatedly that Judge Burgemeister had taken his child three years earlier and that she owed him $5 million dollars.

“You don’t understand what’s happening, this is an arbitration of war that supersedes any authority that you thought you had,” the caller said.

Judge Burgemeister responded, ”Please stop calling me,” but the caller advised he would not.

  “Pay it or I will take everything you hold dear…You owe me money. You owe me everything,” the caller continued. More of the conversation included further threats and violent language, and this continued until 7:50 p.m.

The arrest warrant was then filed for reckless endangerment, and the Gunnison Police Department tried to locate Nelson within Gunnison County before determing a last known residence in Alamosa County.

Nelson was arrested in another, undisclosed part of the state nine days later and transferred to Gunnison.

“What we’re doing right now is basically housing him until he appears in court,” said Gunnison County sheriff John Gallowich on September 29.

Nelson is scheduled to appear in court on October 2 and again on October 6 for separate charges.

The Gunnison Police Department reported that other judges have also alleged receiving threatening phone calls recently from Nelson.

“It’s a large case with a large investigation,” said Gallowich.

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