More charges filed in car chase
ASPEN Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols charged the suspect in a wild July 23 car chase with new criminal counts Monday, bringing the total to 17.Phillip Jordan Vigil, 27, is now charged with 10 felonies, three misdemeanors and three traffic offenses. The most serious felonies are no more serious than originally charged – three counts of aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree.He was also charged with three counts of felony vehicular eluding, aggravated motor vehicle theft in the second degree, aggravated driving after license revoked, possession of a handgun by a felon and possession of burglary tools, as well as various misdemeanors and traffic offenses such as driving under the influence. He faces two to six years in prison for the most serious charge and a required consecutive prison sentence of one year to 18 months for the handgun charge. Local law enforcement was seeking the driver of a ’97 Dodge Ram that was reported stolen. According to court documents, police arrested the driver of the vehicle four hours later after he allegedly stole three other vehicles and led police on high-speed chases through Aspen and Snowmass.The only surprise in the list of new charges was possession of burglary tools, a count that sheds light on how Vigil might have started so many vehicles. Court documents state that Vigil possessed filed-down keys to a Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler “adapted, designed or commonly used for committing or facilitating the commission of an offense involving theft.”Aspen police claim Vigil confessed to leading police on the chase and confessed to using methamphetamine at the time. Vigil is in custody in the Pitkin County Jail on $45,000 bond.During the chase, Pitkin County Deputy Brad Gibson used an assault rifle to shoot out the front tire of the Dodge Ram. Sheriff Bob Braudis disciplined Gibson for the shooting because Gibson broke a policy governing use of lethal force. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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