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News in Brief

Watch thief sentencedASPEN A former ski instructor who stole a Rolex and wore it to a local sushi restaurant, where Aspen police served him with a warrant, received a six-month suspended jail sentence Monday. Jared Hidden, 29, confessed to stealing the watch and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft of a watch worth $1,500. As part of the sentence, Hidden will serve a two-year period of unsupervised probation. Probation the outcome of school fightRIFLE John and Alice Kuersten don’t think justice has been served in a what most agree was a racially motivated fight involving their daughter at Rifle High School.The 16-year-old who attacked their 14-year-old daughter received one year of probation Wednesday, with strict added conditions.”[The 16-year-old] did a very horrible, horrific thing, and nothing can excuse what she did,” 9th Judicial District deputy attorney Tony Hershey said. “But there are some mitigating factors, and one of the main ones is that she’s a juvenile.”Alice Kuersten, mother of the 14-year-old, stood and walked forward, crying.”He’s asking for mercy. Did [the 16-year-old] show that to my daughter?” she asked. “I don’t want mercy. I want punishment.”The 16-year-old, who is not being named because she’s a juvenile, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in June, reduced from second-degree assault in a plea agreement. She was expelled from Rifle High School after the incident. Hershey said the girl was born in Grand Junction and is moving to New Mexico.Judge Paul Metzger said she’ll have to pay a large amount of restitution to be finalized within 90 days. Hershey estimated it could be around $19,000. The 16-year-old must attend counseling, perform 40 hours of community service, write a letter of apology and write a report on the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She has to complete high school or GED classes and get a job if she’s not a full-time student. The girl’s mother must participate in family counseling or parenting classes and English classes as the probation office directs.The Kuerstens’ daughter entered the court room flanked by eight family members and friends. She cried after entering and spoke to the judge later with a shaky voice. The 16-year-old appeared with her mother and sister, also speaking with a shaky voice later in the hearing.The Kuerstens said their daughter suffered injuries including a broken nose, fractured skull, separated vertebrae and a dislocated shoulder. They were also dismayed that their daughter received six months of probation for a disorderly conduct charge, essentially the same thing the District Attorney’s Office recommended for the 16-year-old, in their view. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)


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