Anderson Aldrich may have been at Club Q 'multiple times' before shooting

Feb. 10—Attorneys representing accused Club Q shooter Anderson Aldrich implied in court Friday that Aldrich had previously attended the LGBTQ+ nightclub, potentially including just hours before the Nov. 19 shooting.

Aldrich appeared in court Friday morning for a motions hearing where Judge Michael McHenry reviewed several motions, including a request to continue Aldrich's preliminary hearing filed by the defense.

During argument for why the preliminary hearing should be continued, defense attorney Joseph Archambault argued that because Aldrich's attorneys don't have the entirety of the surveillance footage from Club Q in the hours leading up to the shooting, they can't properly defend against certain charges Aldrich faces, including the 48 counts of bias-motivated crimes.

While it was never explicitly said by Archambault or prosecuting attorney Reginald Short that Aldrich was at Club Q before the shooting, both attorneys stated that video surveillance footage from Club Q hours before the incident is noteworthy in this case.

Short stated that attorneys do not have the surveillance footage because it is being processed at a lab, and that it would be "weeks or even months" before that footage could be released as discovery.

Additionally, McHenry stated at the start of the hearing that surveillance footage exists that places Aldrich at Club Q "multiple times" in 2021 and 2022.

Short argued against delaying the preliminary hearing by stating that the evidence the prosecution currently has is more than satisfactory to prove probable cause on all charges. Short said the surveillance footage in question could become relevant later if the defense raises concerns over Aldrich's mental state at the time of the incident, implying the defense could be taking a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in the future.

Despite arguments from Archambault that not having this footage hinders the defense's ability to go to preliminary hearing, McHenry denied the motion for a continuance. Aldrich's preliminary hearing is scheduled to start Feb. 22.

Another motion by Archambault was denied last month by McHenry that sought to continue the preliminary hearing.

McHenry on Friday also ruled on a pair of defense motions regarding video evidence the prosecution obtained that was described by Archambault as attorney-client privileged material.

The first piece of evidence was in relation to a video the prosecution claimed it accidentally received, showing Aldrich meeting with defense attorneys at the jail.

Prosecuting attorney Jennifer Viehman claimed the prosecution did not intend to acquire the footage of Aldrich meeting with counsel, but that once they discovered they had the footage, it was immediately deleted, and they notified the court and the defense.

The second piece of evidence relates to a FBI surveillance team that had been watching Aldrich's mother, Laura Voepel, shortly after the Club Q shooting. The team reportedly witnessed Aldrich's defense attorneys going to speak with her.

McHenry ruled that the prosecution should not be in possession of the two pieces of video, which the prosecution did not object to, and ordered that, if the prosecutors hadn't already discarded the evidence, they should do so. The only remaining footage of the incidents was handed over to the defense on a hard drive in court.

McHenry also ordered the prosecution to reach out to the U.S. Attorney's Office to ask it to delete the video footage. The prosecution stated it may have provided the video footage of Aldrich meeting with counsel at the jail before knowing that footage was included in the materials it sent to the U.S. attorney.

Aldrich faces 323 charges of allegedly killing five patrons of Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, and injuring nearly two dozen people less than three months ago.

Aldrich originally faced 305 charges but, since the time of Aldrich's arrest, the prosecution has added 18 new charges.