Crime spree suspect accepts plea agreement
William “Wade” Hammond, one of eight youths implicated in a local crime spree, agreed Thursday to accept a plea bargain from the local district attorney’s office.
According to court records, Hammond, 18, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit burglary, in relation to the Aug. 19 armed robbery at the Village Market in Snowmass Village.
Hammond is the second of the eight suspects in the crime spree to accept a plea bargain. Nathan Morse, 20, pleaded guilty earlier this week to one count of conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary. He is due to be sentenced Dec. 13.
Other suspects in the string of robberies and burglaries are said to be negotiating with Deputy District Attorney Lawson Wills for deals of their own.
As part of the plea bargain, Hammond also has agreed to testify against any accomplices implicated in the same crime. Court documents specify that Moses Greengrass, 18, and Stefan Schutter, 17, have also been named in connection with the Village Market robbery.
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Under the terms of the plea bargain, Hammond faces up to six years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000.
Depending on the results of a presentencing investigation by the Ninth Judicial District’s probation office, Hammond could be sentenced to probation. If that were the case, according to court documents, he could also be sentenced to as many as 90 days in jail.
Five felony counts, including aggravated robbery, second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit robbery and theft, and the “sentence enhancing” count of committing a crime of violence, were all dropped as a result of the plea agreement.
Hammond turned himself in to local authorities in early October, after police had begun unraveling the connections between a series of burglaries and robberies committed in the Aspen area in August and September.
He was accused, along with Greengrass and Schutter, of walking into the Village Market on Aug. 19 and robbing the clerk at gunpoint, making off with an estimated $10,500. According to court documents, one of the robbers hit the clerk over the head with a pistol after he had handed over the money, claiming he thought the clerk was reaching for an alarm.
Hammond is due to be sentenced by Judge J.E. DeVilbiss on Dec. 20.
In a related development, The Aspen Times has learned that another of the suspects, Anthony Rizzuto, 19, is now free on bond. His $25,000 bond reportedly was paid earlier this week.
Rizzuto is accused, along with Greengrass, Morse and Jacob Richards, 18, of taking part in a burglary at a Twining Flats home on Sept. 20. The young men are accused of stealing a Range Rover and several shotguns from the home.
Greengrass and Richards also are charged with taking part in an Aug. 5 armed robbery at Clark’s Market in Aspen.
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After 14 years, a lengthy lawsuit by area residents and nearly $4 million in construction costs, a half-mile trail to two school campuses in the Castle Creek Valley was finally completed this week.