News in Brief
Accused Rifle arsonist back in jailAlleged arsonist Robin Jay Clifton is back in custody and will go before a district court judge on Tuesday, Aug. 29, for a bond hearing.Clifton, 47, of Collbran, is charged in Garfield County with starting four fires in Rifle on Sept. 5, 2005. The fires destroyed two businesses and damaged two others.Clifton was arrested in April 2006, after a seven-month-long investigation by the Rifle Police Department. He bonded out of the Garfield County Jail in May.In June, Clifton and his wife, Robin Pearl Clifton, were arrested in Mesa County for felony menacing and child abuse. The charges against Robin Jay Clifton were later dismissed.Despite the fact that the charges were dismissed, the court had already revoked the original bond. A court order revoking a bond remains in effect unless the order is rescinded, so Clifton was taken back into custody.”He’s back in jail, and a bond hearing will be held on Tuesday [Aug. 29],” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney. According to Cheney, Clifton’s bond is currently at $260,000, but Cheney is asking that it be increased to $550,000. Cheney has filed new charges in the case against Clifton, which now include first-degree arson, criminal mischief, burglary, tampering with evidence, attempted manslaughter, violation of bond conditions and being a habitual criminal. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)Victim in Jeep crash identified”Due to a car accident, this store will no longer be open.”That’s the sign on the front door of Phones R Us on Railroad Avenue in Rifle, just south of City Market.Owner Timothy W. Curtiss, 41, of New Castle, a 20-year resident of the valley, died early Sunday morning in a car accident while jeeping with friends.”The store is closing for good,” affirmed friend and employee Mary Branham.According to the Colorado State Patrol, the driver of the 2006 Jeep Wrangler, Harley “Dow” Rippy Jr., 50, of Silt, was heading westbound on County Road 344, approximately 14 miles south of Silt, around 1 a.m. on Sunday when the vehicle went off the left side of the road, down a small embankment and rolled onto its left side.Curtiss, who was in the back seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.Rippy was taken to the Garfield County Jail on initial charges of no proof of insurance, a misdemeanor; driving under the influence, a misdemeanor; and vehicular homicide, a felony.He posted an $11,750 bond shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday and was released. His next court appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6.A funeral service for Curtiss is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26, according to friends. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)Certification of Vail officers in questionA police sergeant has resigned and an officer was assigned to desk duty because neither has been certified as a peace officer in Colorado, officials said Monday.District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said some arrests they made and tickets they wrote could be thrown out. He said he did not know how many cases might be affected but said all appeared to be misdemeanors.Sgt. Steve Delaney, 54, and officer Bob Regan, 55, were certified in other states when they were hired in Eagle, Town Manager Willy Powell said. Powell said both have pending applications for provisional certification in Colorado. (Vail Daily)
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