Final sentence handed down in Carbondale assault case
August 27, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The final suspect charged in connection with the assault of two Carbondale woman in January was sentenced Wednesday to two years of probation for his part in the assault.
The 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty, as part of a plea agreement, to one count of robbery and two counts of third-degree assault.
Garfield County Judge Paul Metzger called the sentence “certainly appropriate” and told the boy that he hopes to not see him in his courtroom again.
“This really is an opportunity for you to benefit from,” Meztger said. “I hope that you keep up on what you are supposed to do and that we will not see you again before this court.”
The boy was one of seven juveniles charged in connection with the assault and robbery of two woman, ages 24 and 26, as they walked down Second Street in Carbondale after dark.
The boy’s attorney, Peter Rachesky, argued the boy didn’t have a fundamental part in the attack and that his role was minimal in that the boy only let the girls in and out of a vehicle used by the suspects.
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Prosecutor Tony Hershey agreed, saying that he didn’t think that the boy was the “leader” as other defendants alluded.
“This was a group of stupid kids,” he said.
However, Hershey argued that that didn’t diminish the severity of the crime, or the boy’s participation in it.
“The court is aware of the impacts this case has had on the community,” Hershey said. “When something like this occurs in a community like this, it really has an affect on the people there.”
In addition to the two years of probation, the boy served 62 days in the Grand Mesa Youth Detention Facility in Grand Junction before being transferred to Savio, a Denver-based nonprofit that works with at-risk juveniles. Hershey said that the boy has also been accepted into the Third Way Center in Denver, as well. The center is an alternative to incarceration which focuses on residential treatment, education and assessment for youth and families, according to its website.
He is also working on attaining his general education development degree.
The boy’s mother, who was visibly upset with her son at his arraignment hearing, appeared extremely calm in court Wednesday.
“I was one of the persons who wanted him to be in jail,” she told the judge. “But now I want him to be given an opportunity to be a better person.”
The boy stood when Metzger asked if he has anything to say.
“I don’t see the victims here today,” he said. “But I could write them a letter telling them that what I done was wrong.”
He also apologized to the community and to the court.
“I just want to do what I need to, to be a good guy in the community,” he told Metzger.
Of the other six juveniles involved with the assault, all pleaded guilty as part of plea agreements. Each received probation, and some received placement at similar juvenile facilities.