Alleged robbers may have been seeking marijuana and money
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Two men arrested for attempted robbery last Thursday morning allegedly told police they went to a residence in Old Snowmass to get marijuana and “some drug money.”
Steven Lynn Elliott of El Jebel, 25, and Zane Marshall Stahl of Carbondale, 20, were formally advised Friday morning of charges stemming from the reported break-in. Their bonds were set at $100,000 each by Pitkin County District Court Judge J.E. DeVilbiss.
Both men were charged with first-degree burglary, a class-three felony; criminal attempt of aggravated robbery, a class-four felony; menacing, a class-five felony; and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, a class-four felony.
All of the charges except menacing would be tried as “crimes of violence,” said Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills, which carry longer possible jail sentences. The possible sentences for each charge range from one to 32 years in prison.
Although police performed a search of the property on Thursday night, they would not comment on what was found during the search, or if evidence collected indicated that the victim would be charged with possession of illegal substances.
According to the affidavits for arrest prepared by police, after being taken into custody Elliott told police he knew of a drug dealer named Adam living at the residence at 11000 Snowmass Creek Rd. He allegedly said he planned to steal all the “marijuana and money” he thought was kept in the bedroom of the house. He also told police he took Stahl along to participate in the crime, but after walking around the caretaker’s unit, Stahl refused to enter the home.
Elliott said he placed some pantyhose over his head, removed his handgun from his belt and kicked open the front door. He said he was surprised to find the unit occupied by a man and woman, and pointed his gun at the occupants for “10 seconds” while the man “jumped out of bed and they began to struggle and fight over the gun,” the affidavit reads.
Elliott allegedly told police that during the struggle, “Adam” hit him on the back of the head with the gun, and then ran out of the caretaker unit with the woman. Elliott followed them out, but went to his car and drove down Snowmass Creek Road with Stahl just before being apprehended by police.
After being arrested, Elliott was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital to be treated for head lacerations. He was booked into Pitkin County Jail after being released from the hospital.
According to the arrest affidavit, Stahl told police Elliott had showed him a handgun he planned to use during the break-in, but Stahl refused to enter the home. He said after Elliott went into the home, he “heard some screaming and thought about running away.”
When Elliott came back to the car, Stahl said he told him to throw the handgun out the window. The affidavit also says Elliott told police the gun “wasn’t even loaded” when he was being arrested.
Deputy Brady Jax wrote in the affidavit that while he was securing the black Chevrolet Blazer as evidence, he saw “in plain view two handguns on the passenger’s side floorboard.” The affidavit also says that Stahl had drug paraphernalia and less than one ounce of marijuana with him when he was arrested.
Neither of the men have attorneys yet, they told Judge DeVilbiss on Friday, although Elliott had spoken with the public defender. Stahl asked that his bond be set at less than the proposed $100,000, so he can keep his job and pay for a lawyer’s services.
“I feel I might not be the best saint of my community, but this definitely wasn’t my intention, your honor,” Stahl said. DeVilbiss maintained that he had sufficient cause to warrant the $100,000 bond, and recommended that Stahl speak to the public defender.
The two men will appear in court on March 18 for the formal filing of information in the case.
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Aspen and Pitkin County have the largest black bear population and as such, are hoping for a big portion of a Colorado Parks and Wildlife grant to help educate and enforcement rules around securing trash.