Aspen man wanted after blowing off plea hearing
ASPEN – An Aspen man is wanted by local authorities after he skipped a plea hearing set for Thursday in Pitkin County District Court.
Judge James Boyd issued three bench warrants totaling $140,000 for the arrest of Devin Schutter, 32. He was due in court for a hearing with prosecutors and Boyd that would have put him in state prison for up to 61⁄2 years.
Schutter, 32, has a lengthy criminal record in Pitkin County that includes charges ranging from drug distribution to parole violation and theft. More than 20 criminal cases have been filed against Schutter in Colorado since 1998, according to public records.
In Pitkin County, Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin and Schutter’s attorney, Kevin McGreevy of Denver, had struck a deal last month in which Schutter would admit to two counts of probation violation along with one guilty plea to a misdemeanor assault. In return, Mordkin would drop misdemeanor counts of assault from 2003 and 2008 against Schutter.
But Schutter’s no-show apparently derailed that arrangement.
“Last week was a bad week,” McGreevy told Judge Boyd. “He had a change of heart for appearing in court today … and [is] heading in the wrong direction.”
He added: “I can’t imagine he’s going to get far and at some point in the next 20 to 30 days he’ll be appearing in court again.”
Schutter has legal problems elsewhere, too.
On Sunday a state trooper in Jefferson County arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence and an aggravated charge of driving with a revoked license – which is a felony – along with several other traffic counts, according to court documents. He was released from the Jefferson County jail after posting $10,000 bond Wednesday, records show.
And on Aug. 27, Black Hawk police arrested Schutter in Gilpin County for misdemeanor menacing. The arrest came just 11 days after he and McGreevy had struck the tentative deal with Mordkin in Pitkin County.
He also has pending criminal cases in other Colorado counties, including accusations of distribution of a Schedule I controlled substance in Fremont County. That charge is connected to an alleged prison drug-distribution ring he ran with his brother, Stefan, an inmate at Four Mile Correctional Facility in Canon City.
Devin Schutter was arrested in November 2009 on the Fremont County charge, spurring Pitkin County prosecutors to charge him with probation violation from a previous case.
He got a big break in March, however, when the Colorado Supreme Court upheld Judge Boyd’s order that Aspen police illegally collected incriminating evidence from his cell phone in 2009.
The high court’s ruling prompted Mordkin to drop separate felony charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of more than 1 gram of cocaine, and two petty counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
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