Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Aug. 8, 2022
(Douglas County, Colo.) Two 18th Judicial District Court judges have announced their retirements on Jan. 10, 2023, creating two judgeship vacancies that will be eventually voted upon by residents of the district.
Hon. Frederick T. Martinez, first appointed in 2014, and Hon. Elizabeth A. Weishaupl, first appointed in 2008, both plan to retire next year.
The 18th Judicial District serves Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties and is one of 22 district courts in the state.
Martinez, who was appointed in 2014 by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), presided over several large cases, including a suit regarding $11.3 million allegedly owed to the Denver Tech Center Hotel LLC. He also oversaw the 2014 case of Clarence Howard, which had been suppressed since filing, according to The Denver Post. He was replaced by District Judge Patricia Herron following the trial.
Weishaupl, who was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter in 2008, most recently earned media attention for sentencing Dakota Chinnock, 21, to 60 years in state prison for the 2021 kidnapping and murder of Amanda Farley, 20. The judge presided over many violent felony cases, per media reports.
The sitting governor will be tasked with appointing replacements. District judges’ initial terms are provisional terms of two years; thereafter, the incumbent district judge, if approved by the voters, has a term of six years.
These judgeships will not be voted upon in the 2022 November general election. The appointed candidates are entitled to a two-year provisional term prior to facing a retention election.
Applicants for the positions must be approved by the 18th Judicial District Nominating Commission. The district encompasses Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties and members of the nominating commission represent communities across the region.
The commission is scheduled to meet on Aug. 25, 2022 to select nominees to advance to the governor. The governor must select appointees within 15 days of receiving the nominee list.