Rizzuto will face jury in December | AspenTimes.com

Rizzuto will face jury in December

John Colson

Anthony Rizzuto pleaded “not guilty” Thursday to charges that he robbed a local business at gunpoint and burglarized a local home, which means he’s now headed for a series of jury trials.

Rizzuto, 19, is accused along with co-defendant Thomas Colver of robbing a clerk at gunpoint at the Aspen Alps condominium complex on Aug. 6, 1999. Rizzuto also is accused of being one of four teens who burglarized a home in the Twining Flats neighborhood on Sept. 20, 1999.

According to police, Rizzuto was one of 13 local teens who went on a crime spree in late 1999. All but three of those accused have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been sentenced, several of them to lengthy prison terms.

The remaining three are Rizzuto, Colver and Stefan Schutter, 18, each of whom faces multiple felony counts stemming from the crime spree.

At a hearing before Judge J.E. DeVilbiss Thursday, Rizzuto, through attorney Joseph St. Veltri of Denver, elected to face a jury on the burglary charges in mid-December. A second trial, on the robbery charges, may be combined with Colver’s trial in mid-September, although St. Veltri said he will oppose the “joining” of the two cases into one trial.

Rizzuto also is accused of violating the conditions of his parole on the robbery and burglary charges earlier this year, when he was seen at a party mingling with other crime spree defendants. A preliminary hearing on that charge is set for July 31.

And finally, Judge DeVilbiss ruled Thursday that Rizzuto is not prohibited from all contact with his girlfriend, Jessica Comstock. Comstock may be a witness in the bond violation case, according to Deputy District Attorney Lawson Wills, because she was at the party where Rizzuto allegedly was seen with co-defendants Moses Greengrass and Shea Treadwell Estes, both 19.

St. Veltri argued that Comstock’s name is not listed under the “no-contact” provisions of Rizzuto’s bond, and she has never been contacted by law enforcement authorities about being a witness. As a result, she should not be prohibited from contacting her boyfriend, he said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User