Man who overpaid friends at Aspen Club sentenced
A local man convicted of forging checks and overpaying friends at The Aspen Club was sentenced to three years of probation Monday.
Mark Weaver also received 20 days in jail, but he had already served more time than the judge had been told so he went free from the Pitkin County Courthouse yesterday.
He was ordered to pay back the final $600 or so of the approximately $2,600 that he stole from The Aspen Club, and to do it quickly.
Weaver, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of forgery stemming from his arrest last year. He had served 36 days in jail before being released on bond while awaiting trial.
His defense attorney, public defender Jim Conway, conceded to accusations from the prosecution that his client had a bad attitude when he was first arrested and charged with writing two bad checks and overpaying several of his friends at the club.
“He wouldn’t even talk to me for the first month I was his attorney,” Conway said. “But now, I kind of even like the guy.”
Conway acknowledged that Weaver at one point denied that he had overpaid his friends.
But now, Conway said, “he takes responsibility for what he did.”
Conway pointed out that Weaver has been abstaining from alcohol recently and has repaid $2,000 of the money he stole by working at the Commonwealth Public House at Aspen Highlands.
This was Weaver’s second felony conviction, he admitted in court this week. The first was for stealing a car and taking it “joy riding” back in Virginia when he was 18 years old. He also has an outstanding warrant out of Virginia for failing to appear in court on unspecified charges.
But all that, he told District Judge J.E. DeVilbiss, was the behavior of an angry young man, as was his theft from The Aspen Club. In the past few months, he declared in court on Monday, he has realized that he was somewhat out of control and that he needs to change his ways.
“I abused it really bad,” he said of his job as an accountant at The Aspen Club. “I was totally wrong.”
According to Weaver, in December 1999 he was on top of his game, having just gotten the job at The Aspen Club, and starting to settle into Aspen.
But within a short time, he said, he experienced “some deep family stuff,” including the death of a cousin in Aurora, Colo., from a gunshot.
“I was mad at everybody,” he said of his feelings then, adding that he got into trouble on the Front Range as well as in Aspen. Although he did not go into details, he said he was sentenced to one year in jail by a judge in Aurora, but the sentence was reduced after he had served only a little time and had been a model prisoner.
“I don’t think I’m a criminal,” he told the judge. “I think I’m really an idiot.”
Concerning the theft from the club, he said, “I can’t take that back, but I can be a better person in the future. I just apologize … to the court, to everyone.”
The judge said he was “willing to take a chance” on probation for Weaver and ordered him to perform 120 hours of community service. As part of his sentence, he cannot drink. If he does drink or do illicit drugs, he could be sent to prison.
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