Charges reduced for one in Aspen car chase
The District Attorney’s Office greatly reduced the charges against a woman who has maintained she was the passenger in a high-speed car chase that ended last month near Aspen High School.
Querida Castellano, 30, initially faced two felonies and five misdemeanors related to the incident, including DUI and criminal mischief, because law enforcement didn’t know who was driving the vehicle. The other person in the car, Marcus Trujillo, 31, claimed he wasn’t driving. The vehicle had blacked-out windows.
However, District Court Judge Gail Nichols said during an initial court appearance two weeks ago that she believed Trujillo was the driver and was concerned about Castellano facing the same charges that were filed against him.
On Monday, prosecutor Anne Norrdin remanded the case to Pitkin County Court, which handles only misdemeanors, and charged Castellano with violating a protection order related to a Denver case and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies began chasing the stolen SUV at about 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21 when it passed one of them going 95 mph on Highway 82. The driver passed and nearly hit other cars before driving across a yard near Aspen High School and crashing the vehicle on rocks near the district’s softball fields.
Trujillo allegedly ran from the vehicle and was apprehended a short distance away at gunpoint. He is facing felony criminal mischief, felony vehicular eluding and misdemeanor counts of violating a protection order, DUI, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and driving with a revoked license.
Deputies later found methamphetamine and crack pipes, possible drugs and needles in the vehicle.
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Colorado has had more than 900 wildfires this year, consuming more than 330,000 acres. The statewide fire ban has been extended through September due to ongoing dry conditions.