Hamilton surrenders to Aspen police
ASPEN – This time, Jan Hamilton’s stay at the Pitkin County Jail might last a while.
Hamilton, 69, surrendered to Aspen police Wednesday on an arrest warrant detailing 12 new felony charges she faces for stalking and bond violations.
Wearing a neon-blue jumpsuit, with a suitcase in tow, Hamilton spoke to a reporter in the courthouse hallway before she turned herself in, professing her innocence.
“I am not guilty,” she said.
Hamilton then met with arresting officer Linda Consuegra, an assistant police chief with the Aspen Police Department, and the two chatted briefly in private. Hamilton was subsequently escorted to the nearby jail, sans handcuffs, with officer Casey Ward and Consuegra.
Wednesday’s detainment comes after Hamilton was arrested April 27 on 13 felony counts connected to extortion, attempted extortion and stalking. That arrest was because authorities say she sent threatening e-mails to Crossroads Church pastor Steve Woodrow and some of his congregation members, whom she allegedly threatened to sue if they did not serve as a witness for her in another case.
A bond condition from last week’s arrest stipulated that Hamilton could not have any contact with the alleged victims.
But Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin, in a motion filed Wednesday, alleged that Hamilton, four days after last week’s arrest, on May 1, sent e-mails to some of the alleged victims. The e-mails mentioned Hamilton’s ongoing issues that go back to 2005 when she was kicked out of Crossroads Church, which was then called First Baptist Church. “Non christians [sic] in our community are watching us to see how we deal with this,” she wrote in the e-mail.
Mordkin’s motion, however, says that “[Hamilton] shows no effort to curtail her criminal, harassing, stalking behavior while on bond.” The motion was attached to Hamilton’s two other criminal cases – the one from last week’s arrest, the other from a 2010 stalking charge involving an ex-lover of hers.
Hamilton had been free after posting $40,000 bond after the April 27 arrest.
But Mordkin’s motion persuaded District Judge Denise Lynch to sign a warrant that has no bond attached to Wednesday’s arrest. Lynch also upped the bond from $40,000 to $100,000 – cash only – for Hamilton’s arrest from last week, as well as one from the 2010 case.
“By reason of the fact that [Hamilton] has repeatedly violated court orders and bond conditions to the effect that she has not only harassed or stalked persons, she continues to do so,” Mordkin’s motion says. “She is therefore committing additional crimes while on bail. Each time she commits these additional crimes, the possible consequences of that behavior, should she be convicted, increases to the extent that she is now facing the possibility of imprisonment for the rest of her life, given her age.”
At 11 a.m. Thursday, Hamilton is scheduled to be advised before a judge, and Mordkin said he plans to seek a bond of at least $100,000 for Wednesday’s arrest.
Hamilton, when talking to a reporter, said she is prepared to spend a few months in jail. She said one of her good friends plans to remove all of her belongings from an Aspen apartment from which she was evicted following a trial Friday, two days after she was arrested on the 13 felony counts.
Hamilton’s has claimed that Crossroads Church banished her because of her sexual orientation – roughly six or seven years ago she declared she was a lesbian. She has filed a multitude of lawsuits in Pitkin County District Court, accusing Aspen residents, churchgoers and others of sexual discrimination, retaliation and attempted second-degree murder, claiming she is afflicted with a life-threatening illness because of stress they brought into her life.
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Interstate 70 is closed Wednesday afternoon at mile-markers 109 (South Canyon) and 114 (West Glenwood) in both directions due to a fire, according to a 3:11 p.m. notification from Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority.