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Former sheriff's corporal denies tampering with body cam evidence

Corporal Colling approaches on the driver side of a yellow vehicle.
Screenshot Of Footage Gathered By KGWN Cheyenne
A screenshot of dash camera footage that captured Albany County Sheriff's officer Derek Colling approaching the vehicle of Robbie Ramirez.

A former Albany County deputy said he did not tamper with evidence after shooting and killing a Laramie man in 2018.

Derek Colling shot and killed Robbie Ramirez following a traffic stop in 2018. A grand jury decided not to indict Colling a few months later, but a lawsuit brought by the victim's mother is ongoing.

Last month, Debbie Hinkel claimed in a court filing that Colling and/or other members of the Albany County Sheriff's Office tampered with body cam and dash cam footage of the shooting. She claimed that key video and audio from the body cam has been deleted, while audio from the dash cam has been completely scrapped.

Now, Colling has responded with a court filing of his own, denying that he tampered with evidence, adding that, in fact, it would have been impossible for him to do so. Colling maintains that the body cam was unplugged during the physical struggle with Ramirez and that this is why the body cam video and audio cut out when the two begin to wrestle.

The Albany County government is also named as a defendant in the suit and has also filed a response. The county claims the dash cam footage never contained audio, and that it would have been technically impossible to mess with the footage before copies were sent to the state's Division of Criminal Investigations.

In her filing, Hinkel pointed to multiple people who remember viewing dash cam footage with audio. The county claims the testimony from those people is either vague or that they are confused about the matter.

The court has not yet ruled on Hinkel's motion or the responses to it.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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