First suspect pleads guilty in Basalt armed robbery
The Aspen Times
One suspect in a Basalt home-invasion-robbery case has pleaded guilty to charges and faces up to 32 years in a state prison, while a second suspect has pleaded not guilty. A third suspect recently was arrested, but he hasn’t entered a plea yet.
Michael Hawkins, 26, of Parachute, pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated robbery, a Class 3 felony; and conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, a Class 4 felony. As a crime of violence, the robbery charge could add to Hawkins’ sentence. Hawkins is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25. He faces a stipulated sentence of two to 12 years in the Department of Corrections for the charge of conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, according to the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. He will be sentenced to between 10 and 32 years in prison for the charge of aggravated robbery with the crime-of-violence enhancer, according to the DA’s office.
“As part of the plea deal made between the DA’s Office and Hawkins, these sentences would have to be served concurrent to one another and cannot be made to run consecutively,” the DA’s Office said in a statement.
“We are pleased that Mr. Hawkins has made an admission of guilt in this case,” Deputy DA John Franks said in the statement. “The victim is happy with the agreement, which is always a top priority for us, and we feel that this will result in an appropriate and just sentence.”
Sergio Sanchez, 25, of Rifle, has pleaded not guilty to similar charges that Hawkins faced. His case is heading toward trial, and a hearing on various motions is scheduled for Sept. 25.
The robbery of a 70-year-old woman in her home on Riverside Drive in Basalt occurred Nov. 28. Hawkins and Sanchez were arrested last winter. A third suspect was identified and arrested in July after an investigator for the DA’s Office examined evidence in the case and determined that there was a third person driving the getaway car. The third suspect was a 17-year-old male at the time of the crime, so he hasn’t been identified. He is being held in the Eagle County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.
Police said the victim of the robbery came out of her bedroom after taking a shower and found Hawkins and allegedly Sanchez in her house. One man pointed a gun at her while the other searched for valuables, Basalt police said. They allegedly fled the house and ordered her not to call authorities or they would come back and kill her. The victim was unhurt.
Basalt police said after the crime that they believed the suspects thought no one was home and they would be committing burglary rather than a robbery. Police have never said what led them to that conclusion because the case is still active.
Because the suspects are accused of pointing a gun at the victim and threatening her, the charges and length of sentences were enhanced.
The victim’s son and police used a tracking application to locate a phone they said was taken. That led to Hawkins.