Court roundup: Sexual assault suspect denied bond reduction
ASPEN A sexual assault suspects bid to have his bond reduced was rejected by a district judge Monday.Sohan Shrestha, through public defender Stephen McCrohan and a Nepalese translator, asked Judge James Boyd to reduce his $25,000 bond so he could live with his wife in Craig during the duration of the case, and return to work at Cooper Street Pier, a downtown Aspen restaurant and bar that he manages. Shrestha, who also has an immigration hold on him, is about to get his green card, which would give him legal status, McCrohan said.Shrestha has been in Pitkin County Jail ever since he was arrested last month for allegedly sexually assaulting an employee at Cooper Street Pier early in the morning on Aug. 20.Prosecutor Tony Hershey argued that Shrestha, 36, of Nepal, could return to his home country if he posts bond, which makes him a flight risk.He also noted the gravity of the charges against Shrestha, who faces one felony count of sexual assault and misdemeanor counts of harassment and false imprisonment.The victim is not here because she is afraid to be here, Hershey told the court. She is afraid of the defendant, and I implore you to keep the bond at $25,000.Boyd agreed.The serious counts make an incentive of flight serious, he said, adding that the bond thats been set is reasonable so the motion to modify [the bond] is denied.A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 5.In other court news: An Aspen man who surrendered to police last week on a warrant connected to heroin distribution was granted a personal recognizance bond by Boyd.The parents of Gregory Elston, 23, also appeared in court with their son, agreeing to co-sign the bond.Saskia Jordan, a name partner with Denver-based Haddon, Morgan, Mueller, Jordan, Mackey & Foreman PC, one of the states best-known criminal defense firms, is representing Elston.Police suspect that Elston, who posted $20,000 bond when he turned himself in last week, sold heroin to Adam Peterson, who overdosed in Aspen on March 19. Another Aspen man, Ryan Welgos, was arrested in June by federal authorities for his alleged role in the local heroin network. The case against him is pending in Garfield County District Court. A man who got in a donnybrook over a game of cards pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and driving under the influence as part of a plea agreement.Jesse James Coleman was arrested in May for allegedly assualting a man after he suspected him of cheating in cards. And in July, he got popped for a DUI, a violation of his bond. The plea agreement called for the dismissal of the bond violation, but the two other charges stuck.I did the crime and I have to take responsibility for it, Coleman told Judge Boyd. Thats all I have to say. Samantha Smalling pleaded guilty to felony theft for writing $4,174 in checks from her employer to herself.Smalling had worked at Attorneys Title Insurance Agency in Aspen last year when she committed the crimes, according to court testimony. She plans to pay back her former employer before her Dec. 1 sentencing hearing, said her Aspen attorney, Mark Rubinstein.firstname.lastname@example.org
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After nine months of being shuttered due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Wheeler Opera House will reopen for local acts. A touchless reservation system will be open to 53 people for in-person at the venue. Online live streaming also will be available.