Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols on Tuesday set bond at $1,000 for a Glenwood Springs man jailed in Aspen.
Taylor S. Colton, 43, has a lengthy record of arrests and court dispositions. He was transferred from the Garfield County Jail to the Pitkin County Jail on Saturday, accused of violating probation conditions he agreed to in December 2012 when he pleaded guilty in Nichols’ court to felony trespassing.
Colton is known to Aspen newspaper readers and some business owners as the would-be publisher of Aspen Moxie, a magazine he claims he attempted to create in mid-2011. He also is said to have taken money from businesses to create promotional materials for them. Colton has never faced criminal charges on those accusations.
In July, he sent an email to The Aspen Times expressing remorse for his actions in taking money from potential advertisers and not delivering on the product.
He blamed his problems on alcoholism.
“I’m in the process of repaying the money and truly apologize to the community for the wrongs I’ve committed,” he wrote. “I accept my responsibility for these actions and have stopped drinking and attend regular meetings for my alcoholism.”
In court Tuesday, Colton told Nichols that he has not returned to a life of drinking. He said he has been busy with a new media and advertising project in the Glenwood Springs area since January and didn’t know that the probation office had been trying to contact him in recent months. He also said he didn’t know that a Pitkin County warrant had been issued for his arrest in January.
“I’m half owner of Operator Generator Media Productions,” he said. “We’ve got two screen-printing companies down in Glenwood Springs. We’re also the ones that are putting out Seenzine 360, a new, free, monthly magazine coming out in about 10 days. It’s online currently, and if you look at it, you’ll see about 80 Aspen and Glenwood Springs advertisers.”
Colton said he moved but that he contacted his probation officer and gave him his new address and phone number. He even invited the probation officer to his company’s grand opening on Grand Avenue, a business that is “literally around the corner” form the Garfield County Courthouse, he said.
A complaint filed on April 7 by probation officer Shawn Brown alleges that Colton violated probation in five ways. The first was by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassment in November in Garfield County Court, and the second was by failing to provide notice of a change of address, the last address being The Silver Spruce Motel in Glenwood Springs, according to the complaint.
Other alleged violations include failing to report to the probation office, failing to obtain counseling for substance abuse or mental conditions and not making payments on a $4,280 balance of assessed fines and costs.
“The defendant’s last live phone conversation with probation was on 11/13/13,” Brown wrote in the complaint.
Colton pleaded for Nichols to release him on a personal-recognizance bond, which requires no money. He said he wanted to fulfill his obligations to Aspen and Glenwood Springs advertisers. He said the only reason he was arrested in Garfield County in the fall was because he “slipped off” his medications.
Colton also added that no bondsman in the area would be willing to work with him to obtain release from jail.
But Nichols told Colton that he failed to live up to his responsibilities to the court. She said she would address his bond again on Monday.
Deputy District Attorney Blake Feamster said she was the prosecutor who dealt with Colton’s Garfield County case in the fall. She said she worked to get a two-year deferred judgment for him on the harassment charge but that it was contingent upon Colton participating in a Wellness Court program there.
Feamster said she tried to contact Colton several times following his October guilty plea but that he failed to return phone messages and letters.