The prosecutors who brought justice for the family of Sylvia Quayle four decades following her murder in Cherry Hills Village were selected by the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council (CDAC) as the 2022 Outstanding Trial Team of the Year.
This prestigious award recognizes one team of prosecutors each year for exceptional work in solving challenging cases from the thousands of cases brought to trial over the course of the year. This year, the award honors a dedicated team from our Office who aggressively worked to solve this case and bring Quayle’s killer to justice.
The trial team members include Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Gallo and Deputy District Attorney Grant Grosgebauer, Matt Hanagan, Investigator, Cathy Nevill, Paralegal and Colleen Vogel, Victim Advocate.
“I’m proud that Colorado’s prosecution community recognized the incredible work of this team,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “This case is a shining example of the fact that, no matter how many years have passed, we will never stop pursuing justice for victims and bringing closure to families.”
Prosecutors Christopher Gallo and Grant Grosgebauer noted the tremendous importance of a strong team.
“We get to stand up in court and make the closing argument, but a case like this is built from the ground up, with great investigative work from our partners at the Cherry Hills Village Police Department, along with DA Investigator Matthew Hanagan, who was critical in gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses,” they said. “This isn’t an award that belongs to one or two people. Without the countless hours of dedication from our spectacular victim advocate, Colleen Vogel, and our amazing Cold Case Paralegal, Cathy Nevill, this case would not have made it into a courtroom. We’re so glad that they are receiving the recognition they so richly deserve.”
Background on this Case:
On August 4, 1981, Sylvia Quayle’s body was found by her father, William, in the early morning hours. Sylvia lived alone at her home in Cherry Hills Village and became the victim of a brutal attack the night before. The attacker had cut the phone line outside her house so she couldn’t call for help. The investigation revealed Sylvia had been sexually assaulted, strangled, stabbed three times and was shot in the head and left to bleed to death on the floor of her living room.
Sylvia’s murder went unsolved for nearly four decades. In 2000, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted a DNA sample to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, also known as CODIS. The DNA sample remained unidentified for two decades until advances in DNA linked Anderson to the crime.
In 2020, the Cherry Hills Village Police Department began working with a genetic genealogy company named United Data Connect. The company provided the police department with a possible lead after samples from the decades-old cold case were entered into two public DNA databases.
In 2021, an investigator with United Data Connect went to Anderson’s residence to discretely obtain a new DNA sample. That investigator collected trash bags from an apartment complex dumpster where Anderson resided. Lab results found DNA on a soda can from Anderson’s trash bag matched DNA collected from the crime scene.
Anderson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder (After Deliberation and Felony Murder) and initially went to trial in March 2022. After five days, jurors were unable to reach a verdict and a judge declared a mistrial.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office took the case to trial again and on June 30, 2022, a jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts of murder. However, legal precedent only allows a defendant convicted of a single homicide to be sentenced on one homicide charge.
Based on the sentencing laws in effect at the time of the crime, Anderson received the maximum sentence—life behind bars with the possibility of parole after 20 calendar years.
Front Row (L to R): Cathy Nevill and Colleen Vogel
Back Row (L to R): Grant Grosgebauer, Matt Hanagan and Christopher Gallo