Jail, probation for pot shop robber
The Aspen Times
A 22-year-old Aspen man who robbed an Aspen marijuana dispensary with a hammer last summer apologized to his victims Monday before he was sentenced.
“I want to offer a sincere apology,” Hayden May said. “I made the biggest mistake of my life when I stole from people who knew me.”
May said he wanted to “make positive changes” in his life and hoped to eventually study English and journalism and pursue a career in sports journalism. Those career aspirations, however, may have to wait for quite a while.
After pleading guilty to robbery, theft and aggravated motor vehicle theft — all felonies — last month in connection with the July robbery, May was sentenced Monday to 205 more days in jail on top of the 259 he’s already served, plus four years of supervised probation.
He also will have to serve 200 hours of community service, write an apology letter to his victims and stay away from alcohol, marijuana and all controlled substances.
But that may be just the beginning of May’s journey through the criminal justice system.
That’s because after he stole several large jars of marijuana from employees he knew at Stash dispensary in July and then stole a car from a former employer, May fled east on Interstate 70. When police near St. Louis County, Missouri, tried to pull him over the next day, he led them on a high-speed chase and didn’t stop until he crashed head-on into a police car before hitting a utility pole.
The officer received serious bodily injuries, prosecutor Andrea Bryan said.
He is still facing charges of felony assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, felony resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance in the St. Louis area. May’s lawyer, public defender Molly Owens, said a person from the Missouri Public Defender’s Office told her May could be facing a 15-year sentence on those charges.
Owens blamed police in Aspen for telling Missouri police May was linked to a firearm stolen from the Aspen area, and “wouldn’t go peacefully.” That “reckless information” escalated the situation in Missouri, she said.
“Police crashed into him,” Owens said.
May’s behavior in Aspen was possibly the result of a schizophrenic break he experienced, Owens said. A psychiatrist has diagnosed him as having the “early stages of schizophrenia,” she said.
District Judge Chris Seldin imposed the extra 205 days of jail time because he said he wanted May to experience life in the Garfield County Jail as opposed to the Pitkin County Jail. Pitkin County Jail authorities plan to transfer inmates to Garfield County around the beginning of June so limited renovations can be done.
May’s father, Ben May, also apologized to the community for his son’s behavior.
“It’s hard to have an explanation about what happened that day,” Ben May said. “It was just a bizarre day. It was out of character for Hayden.”
In other court news Monday:
• A 51-year-old unemployed construction worker was sentenced Monday to 18 months in the Pitkin County Jail and five years of supervised probation for inappropriate contact with two young girls at a campground last summer.
Mark Damman, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse and misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact in February, will have to register as a sex offender and is forbidden from any contact with minors.
The parents of the two girls, both under age 10, read Damman the riot act in court Monday.
Damman took “something from my kids I’ll never be able to get back,” the father said. “I can’t look them in the face and say, ‘Daddy will keep you safe’, because they don’t believe that.
“My kids have nightmares every night.”
The children’s mother said Damman stole their innocence.
Damman’s attorney, public defender Molly Owens, told a different story, however. She said the children told Damman that night at an area campground that they had been “victimized by someone.” She said Damman asked if the girls were touched in a particular place, but did not touch them sexually in that place.
Psychological evaluations determined that Damman is “not a pedophile and not a psychopath,” Owens said.
• A 55-year-old former Snowmass Village man was sentenced to three years in a halfway house Monday for several bicycle thefts in the town last summer.
David Bowman, who pleaded guilty to felony theft in February, will serve the community corrections sentence in Colorado despite securing a job and a place to live since the incident in Arizona, according to the ruling by Seldin.
Seldin said that while he appreciated Bowman’s efforts to get his life back together, the calculating nature of the string of bike thefts from vehicles parked near the Village Mall motivated him to impose the three-year sentence.
Bowman told Seldin he was sorry for his actions.
“I want to apologize … to the people of Snowmass Village,” he said. “I’m sincerely sorry and ashamed of what I did.”
• A 37-year-old Crystal Valley man was sentenced to two years of supervised probation Monday after pleading guilty to felony cultivation of marijuana earlier this year.
Richard Fanguy agreed not to grow marijuana at his home or anywhere his children might visit, though he is still allowed to work in the marijuana business, said his lawyer, Lauren Maytin. He will have to perform 48 hours of community service, undergo random testing for alcohol and drugs and will not be allowed to use medical marijuana, according to the sentence from Seldin.
If Fanguy stays out of trouble for the next two years, the felony charge will be wiped from his record, according to a plea deal. He was arrested Aug. 27 at his home off Highway 133 after law enforcement found more than 12 pounds of marijuana, equipment to turn marijuana into concentrate and evidence of his children’s visits.
• A 39-year-old man with ties to the Roaring Fork Valley was sentenced to two years of supervised probation Monday after pleading guilty to felony heroin possession last month.
If Scott Bleiler stays out of trouble for the next two years, the conviction will be downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor as part of a plea deal.
Bleiler was arrested by Aspen police in November after an alleged domestic-violence incident involving his fiancee occurred while he was binging on heroin and crack cocaine, according to court documents.
Aspen City Council approved a contract with Daniel Joseph (DJ) Watkins during Tuesday’s regular meeting to move forward with his intentions to operate his proposed “Aspen Collective,” which is currently occupied by Mia Valley’s Valley Fine Art.