Alleged incident at Lake Powell lands Basalt ex-teacher in hot water | AspenTimes.com

Alleged incident at Lake Powell lands Basalt ex-teacher in hot water

Lauren K. Redfern

EAGLE, Colo. – A former Basalt teacher turned herself in to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office on Friday morning and was arrested for suspicion of violation of bond conditions, authorities said.

Lauren K. Redfern, 26, of El Jebel, posted $10,000 bond and was released about noon Friday from Eagle County Jail. The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office sought the arrest warrant Wednesday after Redfern received a ticket earlier in the week from the National Park Service at Lake Powell, according to court documents.

An affidavit by Eagle County Detective Brian Hollenbaugh in support of the arrest warrant said he was contacted by park service officer Kelly Brownson, of Bullfrog, Utah, on Tuesday regarding an incident involving Redfern.

Brownson said he and other officers were called to the Knowles Canyon area of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area at 10:40 a.m. June 10 on a report of people in a group “shooting guns, playing loud music, consuming alcohol and harassing neighboring campers,” the affidavit said.

Brownson made contact with the suspected group and identified one member of the party as Redfern, according to the affidavit.

“Brownson stated that Redfern admitted to handling and shooting a shotgun, ingesting illegal mushrooms and consuming alcohol while at Lake Powell during (June 10),” Hollenbaugh wrote. “He said that Redfern admitted that during the course of his contact with her, she was under the influence of alcohol.”

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The park service officers said they received consent to search the campsite where Redfern and her group were allegedly staying and found 28 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms, a 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition “and numerous cans of beer and alcoholic beverage bottles.”

Brownson told the Eagle County detective that he cited Redfern with the federal charge of prohibited use of a weapon and released her. It wasn’t immediately clear Friday whether other members of Redfern’s party were cited.

Redfern was out of jail on bond for suspicion of a different crime at the time of the Lake Powell incident. She was arrested in February on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a student at the school. She was charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, pattern of abuse. She faced four to 16 years in prison if convicted of those charges.

Redfern resigned from her position as a health and physical education teacher at Basalt High School later in February. She was also the varsity girls basketball coach.

Attorneys in the case said in May that a plea bargain was pending that would result in the sex charges being dropped against Redfern. She pleaded guilty to a felony charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The plea bargain was scheduled for review by a judge on June 26.

As part of the plea bargain, Redfern’s name wasn’t going to be listed with the sex-offender registry. The plea bargain was arranged, in part, because the sex was consensual and spurred by the student. The student was almost 18 when the alleged contact began.

Under the proposed agreement, Redfern faced a two-year deferred judgment and was likely to be on supervised probation during that period, if the deal was approved by a judge.

Hollenbaugh said he contacted the Eagle County Combined Courts and Eagle County Probation Department on Tuesday and learned that the conditions of Redfern’s bond prohibited her from consuming alcohol and prohibited her from leaving Colorado without written permission from the court.

“I was able to verbally confirm through the Probation Department that it was their understanding that no request had been previously made by Redfern to leave the state of Colorado,” Hollenbaugh wrote in his affidavit.

The detectives spoke to Redfern’s attorney on Thursday and made arrangements for her to turn herself in Friday, according to Eagle County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jessie Mosher.

Redfern followed through and was advised by a judge of the charge she was arrested for, according to a spokeswoman for the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office. The judge gave the prosecutor until June 21 to file a formal charge or charges on the alleged violation of bond conditions.

It was uncertain Friday if the alleged violation will affect Redfern’s plea agreement in the other case.

scondon@aspentimes.com