Aspen jury finds local man guilty of burglary, theft
A Pitkin County jury found a local man with an extensive criminal history guilty of burglary and theft Thursday for attempting to steal meat and alcohol from a Snowmass Village hotel in June 2017.
Jeremiah Casper, 41, faces between two and 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Monday. He was acquitted of a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge.
Casper is already serving time in prison after he was sentenced in Eagle County earlier this year for felony drunken driving, said Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham. Casper also faces charges in three more pending cases in Pitkin County.
Casper’s trial this week in Pitkin County District Court began Tuesday when a jury of seven men and five women began hearing the details of his attempt to steal about 10 pounds of meat and $3,000 worth of alcohol from the Westin Hotel.
At the time, Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson and another officer arrested a half-naked Casper after he allegedly became confrontational with a parking-garage attendant who told him he couldn’t sleep in his car in the garage. A Westin chef then showed officers that a hotel access door had been propped open and dozens of bottles of alcohol and large packages of meat had been placed at the bottom of the stairs, according to court documents.
A Westin employee told police he’d caught a shirtless, shoeless man with carts of liquor and meat earlier the same morning Casper was arrested.
Casper is scheduled to go to trial in March for allegedly showing up at the district attorney’s Aspen office in September 2017 and telling an office manager he “needed to see what the DA on my case looks like,” according to court documents. The then-prosecutor interpreted the request as a threat and also smelled alcohol on Casper, which was a felony violation of his bail bond conditions.
He also is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 19 for an incident at the Aspen airport in June. Casper was charged with harassment and violating a protection order by drinking alcohol at that time after getting into a disagreement with a parking lot security guard.
Finally, Casper is charged with three counts of harassment for allegedly sending harassing emails to Chief Olson and other Snowmass Village police officers in April.
In April 2015, Casper admitted to stealing a defibrillator from Base Village in Snowmass, though he claimed at the time he was having a medical emergency.
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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Aspen that challenged its zoning laws concerning Mill Street Plaza, which is home to locally serving businesses.