Aspen felon won’t face stiffer sentence as habitual offender
November 25, 2010
ASPEN – A man convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Aspen was cleared Wednesday of charges that he is a habitual offender, a status that would have significantly increased the prison sentence he faces.
Dandy Vickery faces two to six years in prison on the felony contributing charge, but would have been sentenced to 24 years as a habitual offender – four times the maximum sentence for his conviction for contributing.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled Jan. 3 in Aspen before District Judge James Boyd.
In a hearing before Boyd that consumed much of the day Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Arnie Mordkin presented evidence in an attempt to prove that Vickery has been convicted of three prior felonies, making him a habitual offender.
Two of the cases stemmed from convictions in the state of Washington – three counts of second-degree burglary in one case and one count of theft in another – plus a conviction for aggravated robbery in Utah.
Boyd decided Mordkin met the burden of proof on all but the theft case; Mordkin failed to prove that that conviction was for a felony crime, the judge said.
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After resting his case, Mordkin attempted to reopen it – before Boyd issued his ruling – in order to ask that the judge consider state statutes in the state of Washington, which Mordkin said would make it clear the theft conviction was for a felony.
Defense attorney Kathy Goudy, who raised numerous objections to the evidence Mordkin introduced during the hearing and argued that he failed to meet the burden of proof for the habitual offender charge, also objected to the DA’s attempt to reopen his case. Boyd agreed the request came too late in the proceedings and ruled that Mordkin had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the theft conviction was for a felony.
Mordkin indicated he would appeal the judge’s decision not to grant his request to consider Washington state law in assessing the nature of the theft conviction.
In building his case, the DA introduced various court documents related to Vickery’s prior convictions over frequent objections from Goudy, who said the DA failed to provide properly authenticated documents.
In addition, Mordkin called on a fingerprint analyst from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and two Pitkin County jailers to testify regarding fingerprints taken from Vickery that tied him to the convictions in the Washington and Utah cases.
Vickery, 46, was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a felony, in Pitkin County District Court in August. He was acquitted on 19 other counts of contributing and seven misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact.
He was arrested in March and is being held in the county jail on a $30,000 bond. His local conviction stemmed from charges that he purchased alcohol for a 15-year-old runaway with whom he hung out at Aspen’s downtown fire hearth. He was also accused of making sexual advances toward the teen girl.