Rizzuto could be facing 98 years
Anthony Rizzuto, one of eight youths connected with a series of armed robberies and a burglary, is potentially facing 98 years in prison and fines “in the millions” of dollars, a judge said Thursday.
Rizzuto, 19, appeared before Ninth Judicial District Court Judge J.E. DeVilbiss Thursday morning for his initial advisement on five felony charges.
According to police, Rizzuto was one of four local youths who burglarized a home in the Twining Flats subdivision on the night of Sept. 20. The home is located east of Aspen off Highway 82, and the youths are accused of making off with three shotguns and a Range Rover.
The other three, police allege, are Moses Greengrass, 18, Nathan Morse, 20, and Jacob Richards, 18.
Rizzuto was in court on charges related only to the Twining Flats burglary, although his name also has been mentioned in court documents concerning an armed robbery at the Aspen Alps condominium complex.
Judge DeVilbiss read the litany of charges facing Rizzuto and the jail sentence and fines he could receive if convicted on all charges. “It’s a fairly serious case,” he told the youth.
Rizzuto said almost nothing throughout the hearing, other than to acknowledge that he heard and understood what DeVilbiss was telling him.
Rizzuto’s father, local hairdresser Peter Rizzuto, also was at the hearing, where he made a point of reminding DeVilbiss that his son had surrendered voluntarily to authorities.
DeVilbiss, acknowledging that fact, nonetheless granted Deputy District Attorney Lawson Wills’ motion to raise Rizzuto’s bail by $10,000, to $35,000.
According to police, two of the youths accused of taking part in the burglary – Greengrass and Richards – were also involved in armed robberies at Clark’s Market in Aspen on Aug. 5; Greengrass allegedly played a role in an armed robbery at the Village Market in Snowmass Village on Sept. 19.
The four allegedly stole the guns and the Range Rover before fleeing to Boulder, driving the Range Rover and another vehicle, a Jeep that Morse reportedly stole earlier in the summer and was planning to sell in order to raise college tuition.
The four, who police say were on their way to Canada to avoid prosecution, were arrested after they were stopped for running a red light in Boulder. Boulder police contacted Aspen area law enforcement authorities, which led to a series of interviews that resulted in the arrests of Rizzuto and seven others.
More arrests and further charges are expected, police say.
Rizzuto, who had been held in the Garfield County Jail to keep him from talking to any of the other defendants in the related cases, was to be taken to the Eagle County Jail after Thursday’s hearing.
Three of the suspects in the multilayered case – Richards, William “Wade” Hammond, 18, arrested for the Village Market stickup; and Yuri Ognacevic, 18, arrested for the Clark’s robbery – remain in the Pitkin County Jail.
Morse is in the Eagle County Jail, while Greengrass is in the Garfield County Jail. Stefan Schutter, 17, charged in connection with the Clark’s and Village Market crimes, is being held in the Grand Mesa Juvenile Detention facility.
Only one of the defendants, Cody Wille, 17, is out of jail. He remains free on $50,000 bond.
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