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Judge: Aspen drug case involved ‘improper detention’ by cops

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado

ASPEN ” An Aspen man facing a cocaine possession charge stemming from an incident outside a local bar in March scored a legal victory Monday.

District Court Judge James Boyd ruled that David Ives was unlawfully detained in front of the J Bar, and the subsequent search and seizure “was a result of improper detention.” Statements made by Ives to Aspen police officers following his detention were ordered suppressed by the judge.

Ives was arrested on the evening of March 4, after authorities received a tip regarding a possible drug deal at the popular bar. The person who reported the incident said that the alleged dealer, Emily Billing, and Ives, discussed a number or dollar figure.

Although there was no report of what they were talking about beyond a number, police acted on that information leading to the arrest of Billing and Ives.

Both Billing and Ives, according to earlier testimony from police, were found to be in possession of cocaine. Billing later pleaded guilty to cocaine possession.

After making his ruling, Boyd then set a Dec. 1 hearing date for Ives.

In other court-related issues, Paul Erich Grueter, a former city of Aspen employee, was sentenced in his theft case to a two-year deferred judgment plus related court costs. He also was sentenced to 60 hours of public service and ordered to write a letter of apology to his former employer.

Grueter pleaded guilty in October to stealing $5,600 in public funds from the Car Share program, which he administered.

He was fired as the Car Share coordinator in August after Grueter admitted that he had transferred cash to his personal checking and credit card accounts from the Car Share bank account.

Both the Car Share and Grueter’s accounts were held at Wells Fargo. Grueter told the judge during a brief hearing Monday that he “made a mistake.”

The long running legal case of Devin Schutter continued with a hearing Monday, in which the District Attorney’s office sought to have his bail increased for a series of drug-related transgressions.

Schutter, 29, found himself in trouble in late February when authorities arrested him at his mother’s house. He faces multiple counts as a result of the arrest ranging from drug possession with intent to distribute to probation and parole violations.

He had been free on bond pending his April trial, but Schutter was arrested Nov. 6 for alleged violation of bond conditions in Pitkin County. The latest arrest stemmed from a warrant issued in Fremont County in connection with a drug distribution charge.

Schutter is scheduled to next appear in court Dec. 1, at which time Boyd could rule on whether to increase his bond for the February incident. Schutter is being held at Pitkin County jail on a $250,000 bond.

That is a result of Schutter allegedly violating his bond conditions in Pitkin County.

whaupt@aspentimes.com


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