Possible deal in works in Aspen drug case
December 23, 2008
ASPEN ” A judge Monday vacated a spring trial date for suspected drug dealer Devin Schutter of Aspen, in view of the potential for a resolution to the case.
Judge James Boyd issued his ruling at the end of an afternoon hearing in Pitkin County District Court. Boyd also vacated motion and bond hearings that had been set Monday, given the latest development.
The rulings allow some time for deputy district attorney Arnold Mordkin and public defender Stephen McCrohan to discuss and possibly reach a deal.
Schutter, who was arrested Feb. 20 at his mom’s house, faces multiple counts ranging from drug possession with intent to distribute to probation and parole violations from earlier cases.
If convicted on all counts, Schutter could possibly spend more than 45 years in prison. “I think there is hope of disposition,” McCrohan said.
But he also said an alleged transgression in Fremont County “really throws a monkey wrench into the situation.”
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Aspen police arrested Schutter on Nov. 6 for allegedly violating the terms of his bond conditions in Pitkin County, after a warrant was issued in connection with a charge of distribution of a schedule I substance in Fremont County.
The felony charge is punishable by four to 12 years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines. An affidavit filed in Fremont County Court alleges Schutter played a large part in a prison drug distribution ring that involved his younger brother, Stefan, who is serving a 10-year sentence at Four Mile Correctional Center in Canon City.
An investigator claims the brothers were involved in a number of drug deals in the past few months. The investigator pieced together the information by listening to telephone conversations between the brothers that were recorded via the Colorado Inmate Phone System, which allows for such monitoring.
The allegation was serious enough that Boyd ordered Schutter held on $250,000 bond during a Nov. 7 hearing. Schutter has since been jailed in Pitkin County. He spent his 30th birthday behind bars in late November.
Mordkin suggested at Monday’s hearing the Fremont County issue could be dealt with locally.
“I think I can have some influence that might assist us,” he said.
Mordkin also said both sides could have a greater chance of accomplishing something if they just “step back and take a breath.”
Boyd, given that backdrop, set a follow-up hearing Feb. 2. By that time, both sides will either have exhausted all avenues or come to some “global disposition,” Mordkin said.