Aspen burglary suspect’s competency at issue |

Aspen burglary suspect’s competency at issue

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A judge is expected to rule Tuesday on whether a man with a history of mental illness is fit to stand trial in a case that stems from the break-in of an Aspen residence more than two years ago.

Steven Howard Lee Honett, 60, appeared Monday in Pitkin County District Court for a competency hearing before Judge James Boyd.

Honett was called to testify about 10 minutes into the hearing. Public Defender Stephen McCrohan initially questioned Honett about his background, including the 23 years that he spent as an attorney.

Honett stated that he resigned his law license in 1994. He said it mooted the issue of the bar moving against him.

Honett also said he understood the counts he faced, although he seemed to express some displeasure about the proceeding.

“I hate the system in this country because there is no God,” he said at one point during testimony.

He also seemed to take umbrage with prosecutor Arnold Mordkin’s questioning. At one point he made a gesture as if he was going to spit.

“I find you all in contempt,” Honett said.

He also railed against doctors who questioned his competency.

Honett had been holed up at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo prior to his hearing Monday. While Honett has been at the facility for months he has also refused to be treated for his condition.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

After the hearing Honett was taken to the Pitkin County jail where he is being held without bond. He is to appear in court at 4 p.m. Tuesday, at which time Boyd is expected to rule on competency.

Honett was arrested in January 2007, after he allegedly broke into a residence on East Hopkins Avenue and drank three beers, according to Aspen Police Department reports.

A caretaker noticed lights on inside the home, and alerted police. When police arrived about 10:15 p.m., Honett came to the door and spoke with police.

He said a friend had told him it was fine to stay at the home.

When he was asked to name the friend, Honett could not produce an answer. He was subsequently taken into custody and booked on felony burglary and trespassing charges.

Honett hails from Texas but has lived in the Aspen area for some time.

In other court-related issues, Daniel Rave-Munoz pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespass (a felony) and third-degree assault for his role in a July 12 incident at a hotel in Aspen.

He was given a two-year deferred sentence on the felony count. He was given two years probation for the assault count (a misdemeanor). Rave-Munoz, 22, was also ordered to complete 40 hours of public service and participate in domestic violence classes.

Also, a hearing for alleged drug dealer Devin Schutter of Aspen was continued to 10:30 a.m. April 6 in order to give him more time to consider a plea proposal from the district attorney’s office.

Schutter, who was arrested Feb. 20 at his mom’s house, faces multiple counts ranging from drug possession with intent to distribute to probation and parole violations from earlier cases.

The offer most likely includes a substantial amount of prison time, given that Schutter faces life behind bars if convicted as charged. The counts against him include intent to distribute a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine), and possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

The count for dealing cocaine carries a maximum penalty of 96 years in prison, largely because of sentencing enhancements that kick in because he has a number of previous felony convictions.

He is being held on $250,000 bond at the Pitkin County jail.

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