This article was authored by Erik Maulbetsch and originally appeared 2/2/23 in the Colorado Times Recorder.
Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters took her conspiracy promotion to a new level this week when she implied that law enforcement murdered two family members of her former staff members in order to compel them to testify against her.
Appearing on Joe Oltmann’s far-right podcast, Peters falsely stated that the brothers of her former deputy Belinda Knisley and staffer Sandra Brown were both killed in separate unsolved hit-and-run accidents prior to the Mesa District Attorney offering them plea deals in exchange for their testimony.
Peters falsely states the brothers of her former deputy Belinda Knisley and staffer Sandra Brown were both killed in unsolved hit and run accidents immediately prior to the Mesa County District Attorney offering them plea deals in exchange for their testimony against her, implying a linkage between the events.
At the end of the interview, Oltmann returned to the false claim, saying the deaths were “no coincidence,” and claiming that “this is what the criminal enterprise does. They know they can’t win unless they cheat, lie, steal and destroy.” Peters nods along then replies, “That’s right.”
Tina Peters agrees with false claim that Mesa County D.A. murdered the brothers of witnesses against her.
While both men died in traffic accidents, neither was a hit-and-run, and neither involved parties unknown to law enforcement.
Brown’s brother died in a traffic accident last September in Grand Junction. He was riding his motorcycle at high speed when he crashed into an SUV on Patterson Road. The collision also injured the other driver and damaged her vehicle, which remained on the scene.
The crash killing Knisley’s brother was also not a hit-and-run, and the other driver involved also remained on the scene, according to an Aug. 6 accident report filed with the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles. No charges are expected to be filed.
In response to a text message request for evidence to back up Peters’ statements, a spokesperson for the former clerk directed the Colorado Times Recorder to publicly available obituaries. Neither of them address the accidents but both are cited above.
Peters, who is considering a run for Colorado Republican Party Chair, has two trials scheduled for early next month: a two-day trial for obstruction of law enforcement set for March 1-2 followed by her main (week-long) trial, beginning on March 6, on felony and misdemeanor charges related to election tampering and identity theft.
Following a discussion of Peters’ upcoming trials, Oltmann announced that his group, FEC United, is launching a “Jury Nullification” campaign.
“We’ll be pushing that all over the state of Colorado,” says Oltmann. “It gets very technical when you look at the technicalities of what they’re charging Tina with, and so with jury nullification we want people to have the understanding that you can’t abuse the laws in order to take away your right to vote, and then say, ‘oh that’s ok but [Peters] shouldn’t have done this.’”
The GOP state chair election will take place on Saturday, March 13.
Oltmann did not respond to an email request to provide evidence of their claims. This article will be updated with any response received.
Oltmann: They charged Belinda Knisley who was your Lieutenant. Super-nice person -probably one of the most- I don’t even know like there’s not even a there’s not a person I think could be more nice to everyone- but they they charged her and then something happened. She stood up, stood up, stood up, and then her brother was murdered. Is that correct? So Hit and Run- is that what happened?
Peters: So this past August her brother who I know, Keith, was killed by hit & run.
Oltmann: They never found the hit & run driver?
Peters: Not that I know of, no. Then she took a proffer- agreed to testify against me.
Oltmann: And they called her right after he was killed?
Peters: Oh yeah, during that same week. Then a month later, my elections manager,
Oltmann: Who was also charged
Peters: Who was also charged. Her brother was also killed by a hit & run.
Oltmann: Never found him either. Never found that guy either?
Peters: Not that I know of. And then she took a proffer and agreed to testify against me. And you know, I told them from the very beginning- I said you know we would have to lie to give them what they want. I said just tell the truth all you have to do is tell the truth but people become afraid you know their their families will say Hey you can just make this go away you can’t make this go away.”
Oltmann: I just wanted everyone to understand that it’s not a coincidence –not a coincidence– that both of your people in your office that were charged with you- their brothers were killed in hit & runs.
Oltmann: Those hit and run drivers were never recovered. In the same week that happened the DA’s reached out to them to get– this is what the criminal enterprise does This is what evil does and frankly they know they can’t win unless they cheat lie steal and destroy.
Peters: (nodding) That’s right.
Tina Peters’ criminal trial on multiple felony charges related to election tampering is scheduled to begin March 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 9 of the Mesa County Justice Center.