Man gets probation after car theft |

Man gets probation after car theft

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

A Missouri man received a two-year deferred judgment in Pitkin County District Court on Monday after pleading guilty in April to aggravated motor-vehicle theft.

District Judge Gail Nichols also sentenced Kevin M. Craig, 22, to two years’ probation on a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief. The deferred judgment and probation term will run concurrently.

A September investigation by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office led to Craig’s arrest on Oct. 7. According to a statement of facts by Deputy Grant Jahnke, a woman who lives on Sopris Mountain Ranch Road reported early on Sept. 19 that a 2005 Lexus had been stolen from her driveway.

That same morning, deputies investigated a call of an unattended vehicle, a Hyundai, sitting off the same road. It was covered in mud and serviceberries, Jahnke wrote. A debit card bearing Craig’s name was found inside the vehicle.

The investigation led to a phone call to a relative of Craig’s in Missouri. She told authorities that Craig had stolen his mother’s car, the Hyundai, on Sept. 15 from their home in St. Peters, Missouri, and had a dream to move to California, Jahnke’s report said. The mother was concerned for his well-being, the deputy wrote.

Investigators later learned that Craig had made a phone call earlier that morning from a bus station in Green River, Utah, to his mother’s house in Missouri. That evening, the Lexus was recovered in Green River, in the yard of a construction company. The vehicle was in good shape, according to an Emery County (Utah) Sheriff’s Office detective.

Pitkin County deputies learned later that evening that Craig, a recent college graduate, was in the custody of the Mesa County Jail in Grand Junction on an unknown charge. It is not clear from the deputy’s report how he returned to Colorado.

Prior to sentencing on Monday, Craig’s attorney, Mark Rubinstein, said Craig was under an extreme amount of stress at the time of the incidents.

“This is clearly a tough case to wrap one’s head around,” Rubinstein said.

Craig had been prescribed the drug Adderall, commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, for his issues. Instead of helping him, it had an unintended affect on his judgment, Rubinstein suggested.

Craig apologized in court. Nichols said he must write an apology letter to the owner of the Lexus. Nichols also ordered him to perform community service for his actions.

“Ultimately, I have no idea what was going on in my head that time,” Craig said. “The whole trip was completely out of character for me.”

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