John San Agustin
'Geek' sleuth unlocks protected computer files and reveals killers | (KRT) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - He named the file "My Sins."
Everyone at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office wanted to read what Alan Yerkey said about his sins.

They had arrested him for the murder of 12-year-old Danielle Bonfield.
They wondered if he was responsible for killing 24-year-old Deidre Malachowski, whose body was dumped in the mountains nine months earlier.
Would "My Sins" contain a clue? Maybe, but Yerkey protected the small file with a password.
Detectives turned to their computer-geek-in-residence - John San Agustin. An engineer, he recently joined the Sheriff's Office to do a job thought to be the only one of its kind in U.S. law enforcement - developing computer software programs to present evidence to jurors in understandable ways.
San Agustin went to work on "My Sins," using computer software. He was alone in the lab when the software cracked the password after 16 hours and billions of combinations.
He typed it in, and the screen opened to a list of six chilling sentences:
"The Rape of (a Colorado Springs woman)," read the first.
"The Rape and Murder of Deidra," read the second.
The detectives had their evidence.
A chill shivered down San Agustin's spine. He was alone in the computer laboratory, face to face with the thoughts of a killer.
I've found my calling, he thought.
Then he ran for the commander's office with the news.

No one thought of San Agustin, 33, as a law enforcement type.
He was the kid who got good grades and helped other kids with their homework. He knew he would follow his uncles into engineering.
He did, graduating from Widefield High School in 1987, then studying electrical engineering at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
For several years as an engineer, his days developed a sameness: going to his desk at 8 a.m. every day, writing computer code until 5 p.m.
"There's no communication with the outside world," he said. "You're just dealing with fellow geeks."
In 1993, he met John Anderson. The soon-to-be sheriff was preparing to testify as a blood stain expert at a trial for three Denver police officers accused of using excessive force.
The two talked about San Agustin's job, developing programs that helped soldiers understand how satellites work.
Anderson asked whether he could take the same approach on a police case, organizing evidence in a way that helped jurors understand blood stain patterns.
San Agustin created a computer program that included a re-enactment of the scene, showing how the suspect fell and bloodied his nose as he ran from police.
"I took the blood evidence and was able to tell the story piece by piece," he said.
The officers were cleared.
In 1995, San Agustin created a program for the case of Steve Staskiewicz and Jennifer Carpenter, found shot to death in 1991 in their trailer near Old Colorado City.
The presentation laid out the sheriff's case against Timothy Kennedy for the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
"It allowed them to see how the evidence linked to that suspect," San Agustin said.
Prosecutors charged Kennedy. At the trial, San Agustin again used the presentation. Kennedy was convicted.
By 1998, San Agustin was working full time for the Sheriff's Office, creating the presentations that walk jurors down the path that led detectives to their suspects.
"The jurors are seeing the crime scene," investigations Cmdr. Joe Breister said. "It brings the point home."

San Agustin's Dell computer is a chamber of horrors, housing dozens of stories of violent deaths.
It contains the Columbine file, painstakingly created last year after the Jefferson County sheriff asked the El Paso sheriff to investigate whether a police officer, not one of the two gunmen, shot student Daniel Rohrbough.
San Agustin clicks on Rohrbough's name, and the screen produces an autopsy photo showing the wound in the boy's pale chest. He can pull up close-ups of the fatal bullet or audiotape of frantic voices calling 911 on April 20, 1999.
"You can bring the entire environment to them," San Agustin said. "They're able to be there, understand why we did what we did. We can say, `Let's walk you through what happened on the day in question.'"
San Agustin took on the job of the computer forensic specialist, searching computers seized from suspected pedophiles for evidence of child pornography or retracing a victim's steps through the Internet.
Before San Agustin, the Sheriff's Office had no one to do that work.
His arrival coincided with the rise in use of computers in crimes.
"We were fortunate we had John on board when it became such a problem," Breister said.
That was especially true in the Yerkey case.
If not for San Agustin, investigators would have sent the file to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, whose one computer specialist had a nine-month case backlog.
San Agustin said his work on that case delivered a sense of purpose. "I thought, `There may be a fit for a guy like me back here.'"
San Agustin wondered about that at first, spending his first several years trying to find his place among people who carry guns, kick in doors and don't flinch at autopsies.
"It was a shock," he said. "Here I was, a geek, coming into a field that has no room for a geek. For the first couple of years, I wasn't accepted."
They had their fun, especially at San Agustin's first autopsy, Breister said.
Dealing with autopsies - the smells more than the sights - is hard for rookies. At San Agustin's first autopsy, the other detectives stood close behind him so he could not back up.
"As soon as the coroner was ready to make the incision, we told him to get closer," Breister said.
San Agustin's face paled when the smell hit him, but he managed to keep from vomiting and to take the photos he needed.
He said he's learned from veterans how to detach himself from the horrors.
He learned how the job could make life hard on families. "I get paged, and my wife says, `You have to go out again?'" he said.
Old computer friends also wondered about his new job.
"You were always a geek," they told him.
Where had this new interest come from?
Did it bother him?
Could he sleep at night?
"But I love getting called at 2 a.m.," he said. "It's like, `Let's go find another bad guy.'"

A bad guy who's consumed much of San Agustin's time in the past several years is the same bad guy many Americans have wondered about since 1996 - JonBenet Ramsey's killer.
San Agustin and Ollie Gray, partners in a private consulting business, have worked for the 6-year-old's parents since 1999.
San Agustin said he learned about the case from Lou Smit, a retired El Paso sheriff's detective who has worked for the Ramseys.
Hearing about the case from Smit, San Agustin began to believe in the couple's innocence.
The Ramseys asked him to work for them, and San Agustin agreed to work for free, on the condition that if he found anything that incriminated them, he'd take it to Boulder authorities. They agreed.
"We really believe in their innocence," he said, noting the presence of foreign DNA on the child's body and other evidence pointing to the theory that an intruder killed the child.
"The stun gun, the tape, the rope on the garrote - none of it has been tied to the family," San Agustin said.
As he has with other cases, he's organized data and created a software program that includes photos of the infamous basement, the stairs where the ransom note was found and the white rope cutting into the child's neck.
Put together, it suggests an intruder broke into the Ramsey home and killed JonBenet, he said.
The endorsements given by a federal judge and Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan last month to that same theory may signal a new direction in the case, he said.
"Mary Keenan knows the evidence doesn't support the Ramseys doing it," he said. "Instead of having blinders on, she's allowing investigators to open up their eyes."
If prosecutors need anything from the Ramsey team, they'll provide it.
San Agustin is focusing less these days on outside work and more on his job in Colorado Springs.
He'll get help soon. The Sheriff's Office is assigning a deputy to work with him - someone with computer skills and the ability as a sworn officer to make arrests.
That remains the one thing San Agustin, as a civilian, can't do, and it's fine with him.
"I'll stick to being a geek."

My comment - John isn't working at the Sheriff's office anymore but he is still a geek, still working on investigations, still earning money as a PI and as an adjunct professor teaching.

If I had a problem his skills could help solve, I would not hesitate to hire him. I have seen some of his work and he is awesome.
Excuse me, Susan, but I did my homework. I read the charges and accompanying news stories in advance.
I'm not bothered that you disagree. But don't personally attack me. I didn't personally attack you.

I never said he was guilty of the charges.
I said his career is over.
And it is.
He resigned. And can never work as a law enforcement officer again.
That is THE TRUTH.

You can be awfully insulting and haughty at times.
But I do not pull any punches.

I already read all the articles before I posted it.

"Really? By who"

I wasn't referring exclusively to the investigators they hired, Susan.
I WAS referring to all their investigators.
BPD, Arndt, Thomas, etc.

I'm leaving this forum now- it's pretty flat and uninteresting if you've created a place merely to jump down the throats of people who post something you might disagree with. Thanks for the opportunity to participate but I'm not impressed with your replies here and you probably should have gained some context before you started with the personal attacks. You don't get along with Paula, I'm trying to think of a recent author on the Ramsey case you do get along with.
I've done quite a bit of homework in the decade I worked in the administration of justice. I really don't know where you get off, but you have no business running a forum if you can't brook open discussion or dissent.
That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship, not a place for free-thinking and exploration.

I guess I misjudged you and your motives.
Since Johnny has left the forum, this will be my last response to him.

Johnny, you say you read the charges and all the news stories in advance - - and yes all you wrote was
"Recognize this guy from the show "JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery" ? He's an investigator hired by the Ramseys apparently. Well, now he's going on trial. They have had terrible luck with their "investigators". So many have been discredited... "

You have a lot of growing up to do if you think facing false accusations necessarily means the end to anyone's career.

He did resign from the Sheriff's department, but so what? He has a perfectly acceptable career - - and has had for years - - as a Private Investigator and consultant.

Your handling of this subject , saying you knew he was falsely accused, not even working at the time of the supposed kidnapping and false arrest, not in on any of the meetings...... that shows the kind of poster you are. Frankly, BORG or IDI, that is not the quality of "sleuth" needed to solve any crime. I am glad you aren't here any longer. Part of MY reputtion depends on the company I keep and.... yeah, it's best you're not here.
Now for everyone else.

I welcome all honest posters - people wanting to contribute in a POSITIVE manner - to the forum. I don't care if you think the Ramseys did it. If you want to take the time to make an honest case against a Ramsey - - using the documented FACTS and evidence we have - - - please, join and feel welcome. I promise there will be no flaming, no harassment, but an honest discussion I think would be a positive contribution to any forum.
Went looking for this thread and it was hard to find. I guess I would have put it under peripheral characters as John was never a Ramsey FRIEND - he would have followed the evidence wherever it led.

Anyway, there is a trial date set and I wanted to make sure it was available.

Update: Former El Paso sheriff's officials Presley, San Agustin plead not guilty at arraignment
By: Lance Benzel May 8, 2017

Two former El Paso County sheriff's supervisors pleaded not guilty Monday in a wide-ranging corruption case.
Former Undersheriff Paula Presley was scheduled for trial Oct. 3. Former Commander Juan "John" San Agustin will face a jury Nov. 7. Both appeared by telephone after a judge agreed to waive their appearances.
Their former boss, ex-Sheriff Terry Maketa, pleaded not guilty to six felony counts in December and is due for a May 31 trial.
All three were indicted in May 2016 after an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office, who were called in to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
Presley and San Agustin both are charged with kidnapping in a scheme to jail a domestic violence victim to protect a former sheriff's deputy. San Agustin faces two felony counts related to the allegation. Presley, who is charged with six felonies, is also linked to several other alleged crimes during Maketa's turbulent third term.
Just read the case is falling apart days before trial.
I looked into this and don't believe they have even a hint of a case against John. He wasn't even in the building at the time he supposedly broke the law. I fully expect him to be cleared and just regret the damage already done to his reputation.

Case against Maketa falling apart just days before trial?
ADA Mark Hurlbert received information the prosecution, lead by Assistant District Attorney Mark Hurlbert filed a motion late Tuesday afternoon asking for multiple charges against retired Sheriff Terry Maketa be dropped. This coming just days prior to the trial next week. This suggests the cases against Maketa, Paula Presley and John San Agustin are extremely weak if not non-existent. It appears those who have said the charges were nothing more than political payback from District Attorney Dan May and Sheriff Bill Elder might be right. Some wonder if there will be a trial at all. Local news channel Fox21 had the best coverage of the story last night. Watch/Read story from Fox21.

What new evidence was brought to light that required Hurlbert to back pedal and start dropping charges? According to FOX21 it was testimonial evidence from a seasoned detective with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO). However according to our sources (and supported by FOX21’s story) this detective provided consistent testimony on multiple occasions and it is documented in multiple reports provided to defense. Did the detective change her story? According to our sources, veteran and highly respected, EPSO Detective Lisa Kaiser provided detailed and consistent testimony multiple times and her story has not changed. So why are the prosecutors saying they have received “new” information requiring them to drop the charges. Some think Mark Hurlbert is trying to cover his “ass” because he has known about this information since the beginning. Are they trying to suggest they never knew about her testimony until recently? Would anyone believe this? Does this suggest Mark Hurlbert is either unethical or incompetent?
Deputy District Attorney Gerhart

According to our sources; the prosecution alleged, Sheriff Terry Maketa ordered Detective Kaiser to arrest an individual (who we will not name) when there was no probable cause. Maketa supposedly ordered Paula Presley and John San Agustin to see that this arrest took place, or something to that effect. Detective Lisa Kaiser, who was assigned the case interviewed the suspect while supervisors observed in another room; notably, Commander Mitch Lincoln, Chief Al Harmon and Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Shannon Gerhart. Those not present were Sheriff Maketa, Undersheriff Presley and Lt John San Agustin. According to the prosecution somehow Maketa via Presley and San Agustin ordered her arrest. But there is no (and never has been any) evidence of any conversation, phone call or any other means of communication. They must have had a vulcan mind meld. There is also no evidence any of them ever communicated with Lisa Kaiser who actually made the arrest. Plus there is a commander, Chief, and DDA Gerhart in the room advising her. Detective Kaiser clearly and accurately states multiple times she made the arrest based on direction from DDA Gerhart. So, why did the prosecution, who knew of this evidence from the beginning, charge Maketa, Presley, and San Agustin? Sound political?
Mitch Lincoln

According to ADA Hurlbert there is evidence this arrest was kidnapping and according to the detective it was DDA Gerhart who authorized it; so, shouldn’t Gerhart be charged? What about the other supervisors in the room who condoned the arrest? Should Commander Lincoln and Chief Harmon be charged? If the original charges were not politically motivated we should see new changes brought against Gerhart, Lincoln, and Harmon for kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Also stated by the media is that this crime was motivated to allow a deputy to get his job back. What they don’t tell you is this motive is without merit. The deputy in question had already been fired and never got his job back. So, there was never any motive. Was it all made up by the prosecution to give the story some drama?

It is our understanding that from the beginning Maketa’s defense team has said Detective Kaiser clearly stated in her testimony the arrest was based on authorization from Deputy District Attorney Shannon Gerhart and not from any order from a supervisor. Her testimony, made over a year ago, showed Terry Maketa, Paula Presley, and John San Agustin had absolutely nothing to do with the arrest. In fact, there is physical evidence which the prosecution has had in their possession since the beginning that shows none of them were even in the building when the arrest was made. According to our sources, EPSO uses keycards to access the parking structure and building. The prosecution retrieved the keycard access logs and reviewed them during their investigation. The logs show John San Agustin left the parking structure 20 minutes prior to the decision to arrest the suspect. WHAT? Let that sink in. The Prosecution has known for 13 months that San Agustin was not even in the building at the time of the arrest. They also knew there were no phone calls between San Agustin and ANYONE during this time. San Agustin was most likely driving to the jail for a scheduled appointment when they accuse him of giving the order to arrest the suspect. Also, to make things worse, they also knew from the keycard data that both Maketa and Presley were just entering the building when the arrest was taking place and both went directly to the 5th floor. So, the prosecution has known for 13 months that physical evidence proved all three of them physically could not have been present during the arrest. Sound more like the charges were politically motivated?

Let’s review; for 13 months the prosecution has known the detective stated (multiple times) she was not ordered to arrested the suspect by any supervisor and did so based on DDA Gerhart’s recommendations. They also knew Maketa, Presley and San Agustin were out of the building and did not communicate with each other. So why didn’t Mark Hurlbert drop the charges last year? Why has this gone on for 13 months? Why did the prosecutor, ADA Hurlbert, wait until just a week prior to Maketa’s trial to finally admit what they knew all along; there is absolutely, positively no evidence to suggest Maketa, Presley or San Agustin had anything to do with the alleged crime.

Can a prosecutor manipulate a grand jury, falsely arrest fellow Americans, ruin their finances, reputations, and lives, and then just drop the charges 13 months later like nothing happened? Is this North Korea or America? Who is going to answer for this obvious abuse of power? Do they think they are above the law?

There is clear evidence showing the prosecution has known for 13 months that John San Agustin had absolutely nothing to do with any crime. But yet, as of today, they still have not dropped the charges. This is the definition of malicious prosecution. Let the lawsuits begin. We hope John San Agustin sues EVERYONE involved and is awarded millions. His jail photo will be on the internet for the rest of his life and his reputation, career, and life irreversibly impacted. What about his family?

More importantly will the people involved in this obvious abuse of power be held accountable? Who are they? Could they be; District Attorney Dan May, Sheriff Bill Elder, Undersheriff Joe Breister, Shannon Gerhart, ADA Mark Hurlbert, or Mitch Lincoln? We may never know unless there is a special prosecutor appointed by the Governor. There needs to be an investigation.

We continue to investigate and expose corruption with Bill Elder. It appears there are others corrupt as well.

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