Key witness testifies in Bowman murder case

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The prosecution called it’s key witness to the stand in the felony murder trial of Chase Swanson and Madison West.

Friday in court Todd Pashano testified that he was neighbors with the defendants at the El Vu Motel in Bowman in 2016 and occasionally fraternized and hung out with them.

He said things quickly turned for the worst when he went over to their motel room one night in August to give them some job applications from his employer at the time.

When entered the room Madison West was on top of Nicholas Johnson’s body drenched in blood, and Chase Swanson  “Looked possessed.”

He also said that the defendants were beating Johnson’s body, which was laying face down on the ground, while he was in the room.

Pashano said that he thought Johnson was dead, and he tried to leave the motel room on two different times, but the defendants stopped him.

Madison West’s attorney, Kevin McCabe, had some questions about the witness’s attempt to leave.

“Madison West isn’t that big. You don’t think that you could over power her and get out?  . . . Did you scream? Did you do anything?”

Pashano replied, “I didn’t know what to do”.

He said the defendants later kidnaped him and took him down to Denver in Johnson’s truck.

While they were in Denver he was able to get his cell phone back, and he texted some friends who advised him to call 911.

McCabe asked the witness why he texted his friends who thought he was joking when he told them about the incident initially, instead of calling his father who is retired law enforcement.

Pashano struggled to recall why he made that choice at the time.

The defendants were later apprehended by law enforcement in Denver.

When asked if he knew what West and Swanson’s motivation was for killing Johnson, he said that he believed Swanson was angry at Johnson about a past incident, and they lured him into their motel room by promising sexual favors.

Pashano is charged with hindering law enforcement, a Class C felony, but said he was not offered a deal in exchange for his testimony.

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