Gary Cowan, one-time deputy district attorney, will serve as interim counsel for Kenneth Herbert Botham Jr.

The 27-year-old is charged with four counts of premeditated murder of his wife, Mrs. Linda Miracle and the two Miracle children last Aug. 23.

Cowan’s appointment was made at a brief court hearing Wednesday afternoon before County Judge Harold Moss.  He had been contacted that morning by Judge Moss, after the judicial official had consulted with Berndt Holmes, president of the Mesa County Bar Assn., on possible appointments.

Botham, since his arrest on the charges Nov. 9, has failed to obtain his own lawyer.  Judge Moss finally said in the most recent of several court hearings a week ago that the court would attempt to find a lawyer.  That lawyer was named primarily to determine the extent of Botham’s assets.

There has been some question in court whether Botham may be partially indigent, in which case he might be qualified for either the public defender’s services or those of a court-appointed trial lawyer.

Judge Moss noted that Cowan’s interim appointment will cover a period until the final determination of his assets is made, or he has obtained his own counsel, or through the preliminary hearing and until relieved by the district court.

Judge Moss told Cowan that he must determine the potential asset value of a stock purchase agreement held by Botham in Tri-Star, the company from which he is now on a leave of absence.

Cowan told the judge that he has other legal matters scheduled on Dec. 19, the date currently set for a preliminary hearing.  In such a hearing, the prosecution presents some of its testimony to establish if probable cause exists to believe a defendant is guilty as charged.

“There is a distinct possibility it (the preliminary) will have to be postponed,” Cowan told the judge.  He said he is hopeful it can be done in the month of December, however.


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