Felon seeks, gets prison time
A first-time felon busted for psilocybin mushrooms last winter, who told authorities that he couldn’t live with probation, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Pitkin County’s 9th Judicial District Court Monday.
Michael E. Clampit, 34, of Las Vegas flatly told the local probation officer and prosecutor that he’d rather go to prison than live with a four-year supervised probation, especially given the no-alcohol provision of probation, according to court documents.
“[Clampit] stated that he does not feel comfortable with a probation sentence and that he most likely would not comply,” probation officer Kyle Miller wrote of an presentence interview with Clampit. “The defendant informed this officer that he would prefer a prison sentence.”
Clampit was arrested by Aspen police on March 1 on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, and mushrooms were later discovered in his coat, according to police reports.
Clampit was taken into custody at the Pitkin County Jail at that time, and on June 7, he was released on a personal recognizance bond to enter a halfway house treatment program in Glenwood Springs. Clampit “was discharged [from the program] as noncompliant on July 15, after he appeared in the probation department intoxicated,” according to Miller’s report.
The probation department later arranged for Clampit to attend an intensive, inpatient treatment program at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, but Clampit declined to enter the program, according to Miller’s report. As a result, Miller recommended an 18-month prison sentence for Clampit.
When given the opportunity to address the court Monday, Clampit said: “I hope you would judge me for the severity of my case, and not my alcoholism.”
Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills voiced concern about sending Clampit to prison for an offense that normally warrants probation, but agreed with Miller’s sentencing recommendations, based on Clampit’s attitude toward probation.
“I hate to see someone with a first offense for mushrooms go to prison, but it is his request,” said public defender James Conway, Clampit’s lawyer. Conway also pointed out that Clampit would face restrictions on his behavior upon getting paroled from prison, anyway.
“I think it’s just really tragic,” Judge J.E. DeVilbiss said in court of the situation.
DeVilbiss granted Clampit credit for 147 days of presentence confinement.
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