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Jacob Richards faces sentencing

John Colson

Jacob Richards, the son of Aspen’s mayor, will learn on Monday whether he must serve up to 12 years in prison for his part in a crime spree last fall.

But, according to Deputy District Attorney Lawson Wills, Richards will only face such a stiff sentence if 9th Judicial District Judge J.E. DeVilbiss determines that the case shows “aggravating” circumstances. Under normal sentencing guidelines, Richards faces between two and six years in prison, though the judge could sentence him to probation with no prison time.

Richards, 18, is one of a dozen local youths charged in connection with a series of robberies and burglaries last August and September.

Richards pleaded guilty in November to one count of second-degree burglary in connection with a break-in at the Twining Flats home of Arnold Simon on Sept. 20.

In return for the guilty plea, authorities dropped several other charges stemming from the burglary. Authorities also dropped a charge that Richards supplied information about Clark’s Market, where he once worked, to several suspects who allegedly robbed the store at gunpoint.

Richards, a lifelong Aspen resident and son of Aspen Mayor Rachel Richards, must pay $5,300 in restitution as part of the plea deal. He has been out on bail since late December, after telling the judge that he wanted to get his life in order before the sentencing date.

One of the things he has done since getting out of jail is get a job with the Aspen Skiing Co., working the cafeteria line at Sam’s Knob on the Snowmass ski area.

Skico Vice President of Operations John Norton, a longtime friend of Jacob and his mother, confirmed that he recommended the young man for the job.

“I have talked at some length with Jacob,” said Norton. “He’s less of a security risk than almost anybody I can think of. He couldn’t regret more … his past actions. He’s been an outstanding employee in his short tenure at the skiing company.” Big day in court Richards and five other defendants will be in court on Monday for various hearings before Judge DeVilbiss.

The cases all stem from a string of crimes committed last summer and fall, including the Aug. 5 armed robbery at Clark’s Market, the Aug. 6 armed robbery at the Aspen Alps condominium complex, and another armed robbery at The Village Market in Snowmass Village on Aug. 19.

Other crimes connected to some of the youths that have come to light in recent months include burglaries at the Take Two video store and the Airport Liquors store in early July.

The Twining Flats burglary on Sept. 20 occurred on the day before the suspects were planning to flee the area. According to police and court documents, the group planned to sell at least one stolen car in Boulder as part of their getaway.

One of those scheduled for a court appearance Monday is Moses Greengrass, 19, who is accused of taking part in three of the crimes – the two grocery store robberies and the Twining Flats burglary.

Also scheduled for appearances in court Monday are Thomas Colver and Anthony Rizzuto, both 19, who are accused of robbing the Aspen Alps condominium complex office.

Rizzuto also is charged with participation in the Twining Flats burglary, while Colver is facing drug charges stemming from a traffic stop in Aspen on Aug. 14. Aspen police, acting on a tip about a speeding car, stopped a car driven by Rizzuto, in which Colver was a passenger. During a search, police allegedly found marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms that Colver said were his, according to police statements.

Another of the suspects in The Village Market robbery, Shea Treadwell, 18, (whose legal name is Shea Kelly Estes, according to court documents), will be in court for a preliminary hearing.

And Alex Cassatt, 19, is scheduled for a “disposition hearing,” which may mean he has reached a plea agreement with the district attorney. Cassatt is charged with second-degree burglary in connection with a break-in at Take Two on Aug. 4.


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