Prank victim pleads guilty to arson | AspenTimes.com

Prank victim pleads guilty to arson

Stephen Elmore

A 25-year-old local man pleaded guilty to felony arson May 7 and was sentenced to two years' probation in connection with a prank that went awry this winter in Snowmass Village.

Stephen Elmore pleaded guilty to fourth-degree arson in exchange for a plea deal that calls for the felony conviction to be wiped from his criminal record if he stays out of trouble for duration of his probation.

The plea stems from an incident between Elmore and his roommates at their Snowmass Village home in January during which one them drew phallic symbols on his face with a felt-tipped pen after Elmore passed out, according to Chip McCrory, Elmore's lawyer, and court documents.

Elmore discovered the drawings and confronted one of the men present, though Elmore's female roommate eventually admitted she drew on his face, according to a Snowmass Village police affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court. Elmore then went downstairs to his room next to the garage and eventually started a fire in the garage.

The roommates managed to put out the fire.

"The drawings on Mr. Elmore's face were reprehensible and not to be condoned," District Judge Chris Seldin said May 7. "(But the) retaliation was significantly out of proportion."

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Elmore told the judge he's quit drinking alcohol, is feeling healthy and is trying to look at the incident positively.

"I'd like to move forward as a good citizen," he said. "I love living here. I want to contribute to the community."

Elmore must undergo substance-abuse and mental-health evaluations and remain free of alcohol and drugs during the two-year probation sentence.

jauslander@aspentimes.com