Aspen man faces felony vehicular assault charge
ASPEN – An Aspen man was advised Monday in Pitkin County District Court that he faces five potential charges in connection to a single-car accident that occurred early Saturday morning, including the felony count of vehicular assault causing serious bodily injury.
John Patrick Francis, 30, appeared in court without a lawyer. He said he plans to hire one before his next court date, scheduled Dec. 6.
“As I take this extremely seriously, I am seeking counsel,” he told District Judge James Boyd.
Boyd told Francis that along with the felony charge, which carries two to six years in the Department of Corrections, he also faces counts of driving under the influence, no proof of insurance, reckless driving, and engaging in a speed contest (operating a vehicle to display speed and or/power).
Francis was driving an Audi sedan south on Castle Creek Road when it left the right side and rolled, coming to rest on its top, according to the Colorado State Patrol. James Dale Stockton II, 44, also of Aspen, was a passenger in the front seat. He suffered a serious injury to his right hand in the crash, the patrol said.
Stockton was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital. Francis was not injured. Both men were wearing seat belts, according to the patrol. As part of a mandatory protection order, Francis is not allowed to have contact with Stockton.
In other court news:
• An arraignment and sentencing hearing for Warren Carter was postponed until Nov. 15. Last month Carter, 45, of Aspen, agreed to plead guilty to a class-three felony charge of escape.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutor Arnold Mordkin agreed to drop five charges of habitual criminal charges against Carter, which, because of sentencing enhancers, would have added up to 51 years behind bars.
Yesterday’s hearing was put off because of questions regarding how long Carter will spend on parole, Mordkin said.
In July, Carter allegedly bolted from the Pitkin County Courthouse after Judge James Boyd had sentenced him to three years in the Department of Corrections for the conviction of a 2008 theft of copper wire from The Residences at The Little Nell hotel.
• Ryan Webster, 21, of Aspen pleaded guilty to possession of 4 grams or less of a schedule I substance (MDMA, or ecstasy). As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, he will be given a one-year deferred sentence, which means the conviction will be removed from his record so long as he does not commit any crimes within the next year. A sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 6.
• Damian Guillot, 39, of Aspen pleaded guilty to possession of less than 4 grams of a schedule 2 substance (cocaine). He also pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired. Prosecutors agreed to give him an 18-month deferred judgment. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 6.
• Daniel Della Rose pleaded guilty to possession of less than 4 grams of OxyContin. In exchange he will be given a one-year deferred judgment. Sentencing is set for Dec. 6.
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An Aspen conservation non-profit wants permission from Pitkin County to establish a low-impact nature education and camping area near Ashcroft on a plot of land originally approved for a single family home.