The Chainlink

EAGLE, Colorado — A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardize his job, prosecutors said Thursday.

Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, faces two misdemeanor traffic charges stemming from a July 3 incident when he allegedly hit bicyclist Dr. Steven Milo from behind then sped away, according to court documents.

Milo and his attorney, Harold Haddon, are livid about the prosecution's decision to drop the felony charge. They filed their objection Wednesday afternoon, the day after prosecutors notified Haddon's office by fax of their decision.

Haddon and Milo say this is a victim's rights case, that Erzinger's alleged actions constituted a felony, and that one day is not enough notice.

“The proposed disposition is not appropriate given the shocking nature of of the defendant's conduct and the debilitating injuries which Dr. Milo has suffered,” Haddon wrote.

As for the one-day notice, Haddon wrote, “One business day is not sufficient notice to allow him to meaningfully participate in this criminal action.”

Milo, 34, is a physician living in New York City with his wife and two children, where he is still recovering from his injuries, court records show.

Milo suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and damage to his knee and scapula, according to court documents. Over the past six weeks he has suffered “disabling” spinal headaches and faces multiple surgeries for a herniated disc and plastic surgery to fix the scars he suffered in the accident.

“He will have lifetime pain,” Haddon wrote. “His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession — liver transplant surgery — has been seriously jeopardized.” 

Money manager

Erzinger, an Arrowhead homeowner, is a director in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver. His biography on Worth.com states that Erzinger is “dedicated to ultra high net worth individuals, their families and foundations.”

Erzinger manages more than $1 billion in assets. He would have to publicly disclose any felony charge within 30 days, according to North American Securities Dealers regulations.

Milo wrote in a letter to District Attorney Mark Hurlbert that the case “has always been about responsibility, not money.”

“Mr. Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,” Milo wrote. “Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.”

Hurlbert said Thursday that, in part, this case is about the money.

“The money has never been a priority for them. It is for us,” Hurlbert said. “Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it.”

Hurlbert said Erzinger is willing to take responsibility and pay restitution.

“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said. “When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay.”

“We have talked with Mr. Haddon and we had their objections, but ultimately it's our call,” Hurlbert said.

Dropping the felony charge is not a revelation, Hurlbert said.

“We had been talking with them about this misdemeanor disposition for a while now,” Hurlbert said. “The misdemeanor charges really are what he did.”

Haddon and Hurlbert have squared off before. Haddon was one of Kobe Bryant's defense attorneys, with lead attorney Pamela Mackey, when Bryant faced sexual assault charges in Eagle County. Hurlbert was the lead prosecutor in that case. 

Bicyclist hit from behind

Milo was bicycling eastbound on Highway 6 just east of Miller Ranch Road, when Erzinger allegedly hit him with the black 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan he was driving. Erzinger fled the scene and was arrested later, police say.

Erzinger allegedly veered onto the side of the road and hit Milo from behind. Milo was thrown to the pavement, while Erzinger struck a culvert and kept driving, according to court documents.

Erzinger drove all the way through Avon, the town's roundabouts, under I-70 and stopped in the Pizza Hut parking lot where he called the Mercedes auto assistance service to report damage to his vehicle, and asked that his car be towed, records show. He did not ask for law enforcement assistance, according to court records.

Erzinger told police he was unaware he had hit Milo, court documents say.

When Avon police arrived he was putting a broken side mirror and a bumper in his trunk, court record say.

Meanwhile another motorist, Steven Lay of Eagle, stopped to help Milo and called 911.

Court records say prosecutors expressed skepticism to Milo at a suggestion by Erzinger's defense attorneys that Erzinger might have unknowingly suffered from sleep apnea, and that might have made him caused him to fall asleep at the wheel and hit Milo.

The original complaint included a felony count against Erzinger for causing serious bodily injury. Deputy DA Mark Brostrom is prosecuting the case and Milo says in court documents that Brostrom called Erzinger's July 3 actions “egregious.” Prosecutors pleaded the case down to a misdemeanor later in the summer, then in August told Milo and his attorneys that Erzinger would face a felony charge, Haddon wrote.

But on Sept. 7, Brostrom told County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan that the case would be pleaded as a misdemeanor. That's the first time Milo or his attorneys had heard of it, Haddon wrote, and they protested “in the strongest possible terms,” Haddon wrote. 

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Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
If capacity for restitution was a reasonable consideration, then we may as well abandon felony charges for hit and run altogether since it's reasonable to conclude that even the most menial minimum wage job can provide restitution more effectively than stamping out license plates behind bars would.

I'd also like to note that the reason for dropping felony charges smacks of classism.



H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
I sat through a whole day of excruciating courtroom proceedings last April (Mandy Annis trial) and the killers were given similar consideration-- young guys of modest means with warehouse or security jobs.
I don't know you but people who cry "classism" often communicate more about their own internal struggles and/or guilt than about the world around them.

Michael Perz said:
If capacity for restitution was a reasonable consideration, then we may as well abandon felony charges for hit and run altogether since it's reasonable to conclude that even the most menial minimum wage job can provide restitution more effectively than stamping out license plates behind bars would.

I'd also like to note that the reason for dropping felony charges smacks of classism.



H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
I mentioned classism because I didn't realize such consideration was regularly afforded to people of more modest means than Mr. Erzinger. It had nothing to do with any underlying guilt/anger/whatever. The article fails to detail to what extent restitution amounts to Milo's medical expenses. Unless a fund manager inexplicably cheaped out and got himself Legal with Eagle, I would imagine his insurance would be paying for this.



H3N3 said:
I sat through a whole day of excruciating courtroom proceedings last April (Mandy Annis trial) and the killers were given similar consideration-- young guys of modest means with warehouse or security jobs.
I don't know you but people who cry "classism" often communicate more about their own internal struggles and/or guilt than about the world around them.

Michael Perz said:
If capacity for restitution was a reasonable consideration, then we may as well abandon felony charges for hit and run altogether since it's reasonable to conclude that even the most menial minimum wage job can provide restitution more effectively than stamping out license plates behind bars would.

I'd also like to note that the reason for dropping felony charges smacks of classism.



H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
Hmmm . . . I thought it was clear from the article that the perp would basically be supporting the victim and his family forever. Could be because I'm in health care and know brain injury though-- you don't 'recover' from the injuries described here.



Michael Perz said:
I mentioned classism because I didn't realize such consideration was regularly afforded to people of more modest means than Mr. Erzinger. It had nothing to do with any underlying guilt/anger/whatever. The article fails to detail to what extent restitution amounts to Milo's medical expenses. Unless a fund manager inexplicably cheaped out and got himself Legal with Eagle, I would imagine his insurance would be paying for this.



H3N3 said:
I sat through a whole day of excruciating courtroom proceedings last April (Mandy Annis trial) and the killers were given similar consideration-- young guys of modest means with warehouse or security jobs.
I don't know you but people who cry "classism" often communicate more about their own internal struggles and/or guilt than about the world around them.

Michael Perz said:
If capacity for restitution was a reasonable consideration, then we may as well abandon felony charges for hit and run altogether since it's reasonable to conclude that even the most menial minimum wage job can provide restitution more effectively than stamping out license plates behind bars would.

I'd also like to note that the reason for dropping felony charges smacks of classism.



H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
I would imagine that being hit by a Mercedes and left to bleed on the side of the road might have pretty serious job implications for Dr Steven Milo too, but in terms of importance you really can't compare surgery to managing people's fortunes. Right?




H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
I can see how restitution can be a factor in some hit and run cases, especially if the victim will need life-long and expensive medical treatment. If the accused can't pay for a victim's life long medical bills due to a felony conviction, the State could end up having to foot the bill.

There are a few problems I see with the DA's explanation in this specific case, though: (1) you have a victim who is clearly stating the accused's ability to pay immediate restitution (through a criminal judgment at least) is NOT a concern to him, and he (the victim) likely has the means to pay for his own treatment without having to burden the State or rely on immediate restitution resulting from the criminal case; (2) the accused is likely wealthy enough that his ability to pay proper restitution is not necessarily tied to whether he is able to continue in his chosen profession with a felony conviction; and (3) the victim is not a resident of the State of Colorado and has apparently returned to his home state for treatment and rehabilitation, so the DA cannot claim he is protecting the State of Colorado and its taxpayers from having to possibly pay the victim's lifetime medical bills stemming from the accident if the accused isn't ultimately able to pay proper restitution in this case.

All in all, this case smells a little fishy for sure. And it is class-based justice, like it or not. If the hit and run driver had been unemployed or unlikely to be able to pay proper restitution through his or her given profession (say a migrant worker or illegal alien), how do you think the DA would've responded? There is no way a public defender would have been able to work out the same deal with the DA for an indigent defendant.
In this case it seems to me the victom WANTS the jerk that ran him over and left him on the side of the road to die, to pay for his crimes, in the form af jail time.
This is classest and about connections more that justice...

I stick by my origanl statement, the DA should be beat to a pulp...and I might ad the judge too
Did you copy that straight from BSNYC? Or did he copy that line from you?
Let me guess...

Minh said:
I would imagine that being hit by a Mercedes and left to bleed on the side of the road might have pretty serious job implications for Dr Steven Milo too, but in terms of importance you really can't compare surgery to managing people's fortunes. Right?




H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
Yeah I copied it but the dude took the words right out of my mouth and sorry for not "quoting"


Duppie said:
Did you copy that straight from BSNYC? Or did he copy that line from you?
Let me guess...

Minh said:
I would imagine that being hit by a Mercedes and left to bleed on the side of the road might have pretty serious job implications for Dr Steven Milo too, but in terms of importance you really can't compare surgery to managing people's fortunes. Right?




H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????
I'm going to say you don't know much about me and are not in a position to accurately describe my feelings about this, and leave it at that.


Minh said:
I would imagine that being hit by a Mercedes and left to bleed on the side of the road might have pretty serious job implications for Dr Steven Milo too, but in terms of importance you really can't compare surgery to managing people's fortunes. Right?




H3N3 said:
Rick norris,
There is kind of an interesting point here-- if you're going to require this guy to provide substantial financial restitution for the injuries and disability resulting from his actions, it is kind of a reasonable consideration to think about not doing anything that would result in limiting the perp's ability to pay.
No?

Regarding whether others get angry about unfairness or injustice . . . why would you think they don't?




Rick norris said:
Doesn't mater, he works for Morgan Stanley, obama bailed them out, so thay can afford high priced lawers. That guy propable got a bonuse on our money

The DA should be beaten to a pulp

Am I the only one getting pissed off at the way things are and rich people and politicly connected people getting away with everything????

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