Cody Wille: `I must hope for the best’
Editor’s note: Cody Wille, convicted of participating in a crime spree in the Aspen and Snowmass area in 1999, is currently serving a three-year sentence in the Youthful Offenders Services facility in Pueblo, although he has been housed in the Mesa County Jail awaiting transfer.He is due to be transferred to Pueblo today. His address is: YOS; Cody Willey, #104-108; 1401 West 17th St., Pueblo, CO, 81003.”Click,” the lock on my cell door has just opened. It must be 7 a.m. because it is breakfast. I try to muster enough energy to make it to the door and get my tray. Not to my surprise it’s Cream of Wheat, but today we’re lucky that there is a piece of toast with it. After breakfast, I’ll just go back to sleep.It is now 11:30 a.m. and I have been rudely awakened for the second time today. Lunch is waiting at my door. I hope today that we get potatoes in our Cream of Wheat and corn slop. It takes me a while, but I am able to cram the nasty concoction down my throat.I figure today will be like yesterday, the day before that, and the entire week before that. I’ll get up at 11:30 a.m. and read ’til 12:30. If it’s nice outside I’ll go out to the yard, (a small area which has a chain link fence over it), until 1:30 p.m.At 1:30 I go back to my cell until 2:30 p.m. when I get to come out to make phone calls and take a shower. Once 3:30 p.m. rolls around it is back to my cell where I will remain for the next 20 hours. I usually read from 3:30 to 4:30, then it’s dinner. Dinner is usually the best meal of the day, but it is still nothing to brag about. Then it’s back to bed; I’ll wake back up at 8:30 or 9 p.m. when my stomach starts saying, “Feed me.” Then I will just sit and wait for the mail which comes around 3:30 a.m.It is now 1:30 a.m. and I can hardly concentrate. The smell of human feces has engulfed our room. It doesn’t take much to make a 6-foot by 12-foot room fill with smell. My cell mate and I have to share this little room and we can only flush the toilet twice a day.After many long hours of thinking, I have come up with how criminals come to be and why they recommit. Everyone that I have met all have four things in common:1. They have no father figure.2. They are usually very smart, but never got a proper education.3. They lack positive reinforcements to get their lives back on track.4. They have no conscience or morals.For me I only have two strikes against me; numbers 1 & 2.Why do people recommit, you ask? It’s because you get so used to your life in such a constricted area that once you get out everything is so overwhelming. Besides that, why ever would you want to try and rebuild your life knowing damn well that it could be ripped from you again at any moment?Like in my case for example: I have worked since I was 5 years old, 12 years ago, to graduate in the year 2000 with my class. It took 24 hours’ worth of poor decision-making and bone-headed maneuvers to screw up 12 years’ worth of work.Now, you tell me why I should ever want to come back to a society where they will throw out their future, their kids, like trash. This is where my conscience and morals come in. Unlike most of the people in this place I feel so incredibly terrible about what I did, and I am bound and determined to do what I can to pay it back to the Aspen community.But, where I am right now and where I am going is helping nobody. It’s not helping me show what I can do and allow my full potential to shine. It’s not helping the community and it’s not helping the victims. I just want to do something more than just say, “I’m sorry.”I want to make sure kids my own age understand the severity and actuality of what can happen. If I had known that my entire life and everything I have ever worked for, ever loved, and ever dreamed about could all be demolished in one fell swoop, this would have never happened.The problem is that kids my age don’t get the education of what could happen. It’s like when you were a child and your mom or day says, “Don’t touch the stove, it’s hot,” but you go right ahead and touch the stove. What they don’t tell you is that you are going to get burned, they don’t say that it will turn into a scar that will be with you for the rest of your life.I never knew that I could be charged as an adult. That will haunt me for the rest of my natural life. Not only that, but I have been harassed in jail for being considered a liar. Nobody in here believes me that on my first offense I was charged as an adult and sentenced to five years DOC, suspended to three years at YOS, (Youth Offender Services).My cell mate has had well over 35 felony convictions on his juvenile record. His convictions include aggravated robbery, larceny, second-degree burglary, attempted murder, and grand theft auto. Only now, after he escaped from a minimum-security facility for troubled teens, hijacked a bus and kidnapped people on that bus, is he being tried as an adult. His plea agreement was one year in DOC for class 5 escape; he is eligible for parole in five months.As for me, I must continue to be the young man I am and hope for the best. I have no power to change the past, but I am going to try and brighten the future of tomorrow. All I can do now is my best and learn more about life and about myself.What I have learned is that in each of us burns a flame of independence that must never be allowed to go out, because as long as it burns from within we can never be destroyed.- Cody Wille
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The case and identity of a man found in the backcountry near Breckenridge in 2016 has baffled investigators. Officials are hopeful that new efforts in forensics will help them ID the man.