Suspect in 2011 Belly Up bomb threat convicted of another crime in Eagle
A man who served prison time for bomb threats and a bank robbery attempt in Avon — as well as facing other accusations in the region, including a bomb threat at Belly Up in 2011 while on parole — was convicted of charges connected to an incident at an Eagle home last June.
A 12-person Eagle County jury on Wednesday found Asa Robinson guilty of one count of criminal mischief, two counts of obstructing a peace officer, and two counts of menacing following an incident at an Eagle residence on June 11, 2022.
The jury found him not guilty of second-degree burglary and first-degree criminal trespass at the conclusion of the two-day criminal trial.
Robinson, whose criminal record includes a previous conviction after being charged in a bomb threat and robbery attempt at the Academy Bank within the Avon Walmart in 2009, is expected to face sentencing near the end of April. Four months after he was paroled from state prison on June 14, 2011, for the Eagle County conviction, he was charged with calling in a bomb threat at Belly Up, the popular Aspen music venue, after he was denied entry to a sold-out show.
He is also at the center of several open criminal cases within the 5th Judicial District Court. One includes a jury trial scheduled to begin on April 18 stemming from charges from a Dec. 13, 2021, traffic stop that shut down eastbound Interstate 70.
In the two-day trial that started Tuesday for charges related to the June 11, 2022, incident, public defenders Kevin Jensen and Christopher Claypool represented Robinson in the Eagle County courthouse.
Jensen, in his opening statement, said Robinson had lived in California for a time before he eventually moved back to Colorado to live with his girlfriend, Lindsey Moss, in the summer of 2021. Robinson moved his belongings into the Eagle residence owned by Moss and her father, Jensen said, and had lived with Moss for about a year before the June 11 incident occurred.
While Robinson’s name was not on a lease, Jensen stated that Robinson and Moss agreed on monthly $500 rent payments, which Moss corroborated in her testimony. Moss testified that Robinson did work around the house to help out and also said that Robinson didn’t have a key to the house in June 2022. After Tyler Martin, a roommate, moved in, the locks were changed, but Moss said the doors were typically unlocked, and Robinson could still come and go as he pleased.
On June 11, 2022, Jensen said Robinson and Moss were in the fallout of an argument. In her testimony, Moss said she had started her sobriety journey and had an agreement with Robinson that if he were drinking, she didn’t want to be around him. Moss testified that the night prior, Robinson had been drinking with Martin, and when she realized Robinson hadn’t come home after going to bed early and waking up around 10:30 p.m., she called Robinson to see where he was.
“She could tell that he’d been drinking over the phone,” Jensen said.
Moss told Robinson not to come home that night, so he grabbed a sleeping bag and slept in a field, Jensen said. The next morning, Robinson came back, but was still drunk and Moss sent him away again, he said. That June 11 afternoon, Jensen said Robinson returned to the residence to gather his belongings.
“He was still drunk, and Ms. Moss was still mad at him, and they got in a fight,” Jensen said.
Moss testifed that the altercation that afternoon between her and Robinson and Moss was not physical, but she said Robinson began breaking some of her belongings. While Robinson was downstairs and Moss was upstairs, she called 911.
Vail Public Safety Communications operator Bonnie Callard took the 911 call and testified in court on Tuesday. She reviewed a recording of the call before the jury.
“He was destroying my property, and I didn’t know what to do at that point,” Moss said on Tuesday.
Callard corroborated that Moss hadn’t said Robinson had broken into the residence on her June 911 call.
“She sounded angry, she did sound scared at the beginning,” Callard said. “She sounded frustrated.”
Callard testified that it is common to have 911 callers express more than one emotion during the time of their phone call.
Joshua Sanders and Sergeant Thomas Rich with the Eagle Police Department responded to the call, arriving at the residence while the two were still on separate floors of the house.
Deputy District Attorney Amy Padden, in her opening statement, said that when officers arrived, they knocked on the door of the house and told the defendant to come out with his hands up. She said that Robinson refused.
“’I am going to light you up. I will f—ing fire on you. I will f—ing destroy you,’” Padden said in the prosecution’s opening statement. “Those are the words that this defendant, Asa Robinson, yelled at the Eagle Police officers who were responding to a call in the middle of the day when he was present at the home of Lindsay Moss without her permission and when he would not leave.”
The responding officers managed to get Robinson in handcuffs, Padden said, but Robinson reportedly remained non-compliant throughout his arrest.
“He was defiant. He was swearing, yelling, and screaming at the officers. He went limp; he had to be carried, and he kicked at the patrol vehicle and kicked at Sergeant Rich,” Padden said in the prosecution’s closing statement.
Following his arrest, Robinson faced charges for one count of burglary, one count of criminal trespass, one count of criminal mischief, two counts of menacing — one for each responding officer — and two counts of obstructing a peace officer — again for each officer.
Robinson’s attorneys argued he committed criminal mischief, but that he was not guilty of the other charges.
In the defense’s concluding statement, Jensen said that by definition, criminal menacing is knowingly placing someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. The defense argued that Robinson was not guilty of menacing due to his level of intoxication, making him not all that threatening to officers. Jensen spoke of the calm demeanors of both officers while responding to the incident.
In her closing statement, however, Padden said that the officers’ calm dispositions were a reflection of their de-escalation training.
“The officers were calm … but they had their weapons drawn,” Padden said. “It was a dangerous circumstance. They called in special operations. They called for backup.”
Jurors, after hearing all of the testimony, and seeing bodycam footage from the officers, found Robinson guilty of one count of criminal mischief, two counts of obstructing a peace officer, and two counts of menacing.
In Aspen, he allegedly made the bomb threat after he was denied entry to a sold-out show at Belly Up Aspen, according to the Aspen Police Department. His call forced the evacuation of the nightclub and a search of the premises, police said. The threat postponed a sold-out show at the nightclub.
Local 14 year old writes young adult novels
Nyala Honey has done more in her 14 years on this earth than many people accomplish in decades. The 14-year-old Basalt resident has published two young adult novels, which she’ll talk about and read from at Explore Booksellers at 2 p.m. on June 8.