Lawyer: Schutter will deny any involvement
The lawyer for Stefan Schutter, a suspect in two of Aspen’s recent armed robberies, suggested Friday that his client has been implicated by two other suspects who are really trying to protect a friend.
Scott Robinson, a criminal defense attorney from Denver, said suspects Jacob Richards and Cody Wille may have “substituted” Schutter’s name to conceal the identity of a person they want to protect.
Richards and Wille have confessed their roles in the Aug. 5 armed robbery of Clark’s Market and provided police with names of other alleged participants in that crime and others, according to arrest warrants.
Robinson claimed Schutter wasn’t part of any “ring” of friends with the other participants.
“This is not Oliver Twist,” said Robinson, referring to the Dickens’ classic. “This is not Fagan and his gang.”
Therefore, he said, his client’s name may have been offered to protect someone who is a closer friend of Wille and Jacobs.
“Just because people are implicating him doesn’t mean he was involved,” said Robinson. “The real issue is was Stefan involved.”
Robinson said until he sees physical evidence linking his client with the crimes, he will disregard the other suspects’ testimony.
Wille, 17, told investigators Sept. 23 that Schutter brandished a rifle during the Clark’s robbery. Wille said he had a BB gun and that Moses Greengrass, 18, assisted inside. During his confession, Wille said Yuri Ognacevic, 18, drove the getaway car.
In an interview with investigators on Sept. 30, Richards said he and various friends, including Schutter, sometimes joked about robbing Clark’s Market after Richards stopped working there.
On the night of the robbery, some of those friends started asking Richards questions about Clark’s procedures, but Richards claimed he didn’t think they would really rob the supermarket, according to court documents.
Richards said he hooked up with Schutter, Ognacevic, Greengrass and Wille later that night and they told him about the robbery.
Richards also told investigators that he didn’t participate in planning or execution of the Aug. 19 Snowmass Village Market robbery, but hooked up with friends later that night who told him about it.
Richards told police that Schutter, Greengrass and William “Wade” Hammond, 19, pulled off the robbery. Richards also claimed that Schutter admitted to pistol-whipping the clerk at the Village Market because he thought the clerk was reaching for an alarm, according to an arrest warrant.
“Schutter told Richards, `Oh my God, I hope that guy’s not dead,’ ” the arrest warrant said.
Schutter was also implicated in the Clark’s robbery by Ognacevic when he talked to investigators Sept. 26, according to an arrest warrant.
Ognacevic also said he heard that Schutter was part of the Village Market robbery “but that he could not remember who told him,” court documents said.
Schutter was further implicated by a witness who claimed to have heard Schutter talking about his role the night of the Clark’s robbery. That witness later recanted and claimed it was only based on rumor, according to court documents.
Schutter, 17, was being held in a juvenile detention center near Grand Junction when arrests were first made for the armed robberies. He remains in the juvenile detention facility for allegedly violating probation.
Police have named him as a suspect in the Clark’s and Village Market robberies. Formal charges will be filed Oct. 18 against the suspects in the robberies, as well as the burglary of a Twining Flats home. It is uncertain whether charges will be filed then against Schutter.
“Stefan will deny his guilt,” said Robinson. The attorney said investigators “have not been permitted to talk to Stefan.”
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Six local artists will debut new works Friday as part of the Snowmass Art Walk, an initiative to connect the town’s existing public art with new installations this summer.