News briefs: Snowmass man back in jail, traffic light work
Released from prison and back behind bars
A Snowmass Village man who appears to have been released early from prison was back in jail Sunday after renewing a habit of making threats against a local law enforcement official, according to court documents.
Jeremiah Casper, 42, was arrested by Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies Sunday after Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson reported receiving more than 30 threatening emails from him in a short period, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
The court documents also included an email from Casper’s former attorney to Olson saying it “looks like Jeremiah is out of custody” and attaching a threat to Olson sent to the lawyer.
Olson told a sheriff’s investigator he took the threats from Casper seriously and was worried about this family’s safety, according to the affidavit.
Casper was arrested and charged with stalking, menacing and intimidating a witness — all felonies — as well as misdemeanor harassment.
Casper sent threatening emails to Olson and other Snowmass Village police officers almost exactly two years ago when he was charged with three counts of misdemeanor harassment.
He was convicted of burglary and theft in December 2018 for stealing meat and alcohol from a Snowmass hotel, and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in April 2019, said prosecutor Don Nottingham. That sentence was set to run consecutively to a separate two-year sentence he received in Eagle County, he said.
It was not clear why Casper was released from prison, though Gov. Jared Polis has directed the state’s Department of Corrections to reduce prison populations because of the virus. An email Monday to a corrections spokesperson seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Coroner: No pre-March COVID-19 deaths
Officials at the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office went back through records from January and February and found no deaths that might have been caused by the coronavirus.
That’s according to Coroner Steve Ayers, who said the only case that might possibly have been related was that of a 21-year-old woman from Miami who died New Year’s Day at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. The death was attributed to the woman’s asthma and does not appear linked to COVID-19, Ayers said.
Two Pitkin County men have died from COVID-19, a 94-year-old and a 55-year-old.
ABC stoplight lifted into place
Repairs to the damaged stoplight at the intersection of Highway 82 and the Aspen Business Center continued Monday.
Crews lifted the repaired stoplight arm into place Monday that extends over the upvalley lanes at the intersection as traffic was detoured to the airport frontage road. Eastbound traffic will be routed into one lane Tuesday as crews affix the stoplight head and signage.
The project will finish Wednesday.
The city of Aspen paid about $72,000 to fix the light after one of its dump truck drivers drove through the intersection with the bed up after dumping snow nearby. The truck bed toppled the stoplight arm, and led to a much smaller, temporary light controlling upvalley traffic for the past couple months.
FEW DETAILS ON TEEN SEX ASSAULT ARREST
A detective with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 16-year-old boy Friday and charged him with sexual assault.
The boy was arrested in Carbondale by Detective Bruce Benjamin, according to an arrest report. No other details were available Monday.
The office’s records custodian said in an email it would be “contrary to the public interest” to release details about the case.
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