Richards out of jail in time for Christmas
Aspen teen-ager Jacob Richards has been released from jail just in time for Christmas, after a last-minute appeal from his attorney Thursday convinced a judge to lower his bond.
Richards, 18, is one of a dozen local teens accused of taking part in a series of crimes. He was arrested in September and has been held in the Pitkin County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bond, accused of providing information to a group of young men who robbed Clark’s Market in Aspen on Aug. 5.
Richards also is accused of participating in the burglary of a home on Twining Flats, where he and a group of others allegedly made off with a Range Rover and several shotguns belonging to the home’s owner. Richards has pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree burglary in that case, and charges that he was involved in the Clark’s Market robbery have been dropped.
He is to be sentenced by 9th Judicial District Judge J.E. DeVilbiss on Jan. 10, 2000. According to Deputy District Attorney Lawson Wills, Richards is facing a potential sentence of between two and six years in prison.
The request for bond reduction originally was to be heard on Dec. 20, but was not placed on the docket.
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According to court officials, the request was made for bond reduction so that Richards could spend time over the holidays with his family, including Aspen Mayor Rachel Richards and Jacob’s grandmother in Silt.
According to a statement by Jacob Richards in court, his grandmother is very ill and he wanted to be able to see her before the sentencing. He was not granted permission to stay in Silt overnight.
He also reportedly wanted to spend some time putting his personal affairs in order, pursuing some letters of support to be presented to the judge, and making apologies for his conduct in person to a list of people.
Richards’ attorney was not in court for the hearing, which was conducted by telephone, but Mayor Richards was present.
Jacob Richards was granted a personal recognizance bond by Judge DeVilbiss, with the condition that he show up for court on Jan. 10. The judge reportedly noted in announcing his decision that Richards has already spent some three months in jail since he was arrested in September.
If Richards does not show up for his next court date, he is liable for the full amount of his remaining bond of $25,000 for the Twining Flats burglary, according to Wills. Because the charges related to his alleged participation in the Clark’s Market robbery were dropped, so was the $50,000 bond connected to that case.
Mayor Richards, reached by telephone on Thursday, said she had talked it over with her son and supported his request to be released.
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After 14 years, a lengthy lawsuit by area residents and nearly $4 million in construction costs, a half-mile trail to two school campuses in the Castle Creek Valley was finally completed this week.