By Megan Tackett
Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Brittany von Stein, the Basalt High School choir director who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly carrying on a sexual relationship with a student, will be pursuing a preliminary hearing in her case.
In the Garfield County Courthouse Wednesday, von Stein signed a mandatory protection order, and her attorney, Michael Fox, told Judge Susan Ryan that his client will be taking advantage of her right to a preliminary hearing, in which probable cause is established for a case.
It’s a procedural step in the criminal justice system in Colorado that is often skipped, but can have strong implications for the future of a case — particularly impacting the details of a future plea agreement from the prosecution.
Unlike in a jury trial, hearsay evidence is permitted in a preliminary hearing, during which the prosecution will summarize its case.
The allegations against von Stein, 26, sent shock waves through the Basalt community, as she has already earned statewide recognition for her accomplishments as a young teacher. Two parents were in attendance at the courthouse Tuesday.
Her next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 29.