Teens in alleged Carbondale assault appear in court
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Six of the seven teenagers charged in an assault case involving two Carbondale woman in late January appeared in Garfield County Juvenile Court Wednesday and were advised of the charges against them.
One of the three girls was not present at the hearing due to a previous meeting with Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey. That case was continued until March 11.
Each appeared in front of Garfield County Judge Paul Metzger as individual cases, but all were related, Metzger said. All the defendants are juveniles and their names were not released.
Three girls are accused of attacking a 26-year-old woman and a 24-year-old woman on Jan. 29 in Carbondale. The incident happened at about 8 p.m. as the victims walked toward downtown Carbondale. The 26-year-old woman suffered a serious black eye, pain and bruising, with several different marks on her face. Her friend suffered similar physical injuries.
The two girls that appeared in court are charged with allegations of third-degree assault and two counts of conspiracy to commit third-degree assault among other charges.
Each of the four boys were charged with robbery by the use of force, two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, and allegations of criminal attempt to commit robbery.
In addition, all were charged with theft and allegations of conspiracy to commit theft. If convicted, each of the defendants could face penalties including up to two years in a youth correctional facility.
Judge Metzger also ordered mandatory protection orders for each of the defendants. According to that order, the defendants shall not have contact with the victims, each other, and shall not wear “gang colors or clothing,” among other stipulations.
Hershey said that he would have suggested they all be placed in a youth detention facility but instead requested that they receive house detention.
“I’m very concerned,” he said. “I’ve not seen a case that has concerned me as much as this during my time in the DA’s Office. They are a threat to themselves and to the community.”
The mother of a 17-year-old boy in the case objected to house detention saying that she would rather her son be taken to a juvenile detention facility.
“I don’t want to come back here and hear that my son killed somebody,” the woman said.
Hershey said that the 17-year-old boy has five separate pending municipal court cases in addition to this case. The woman said that her son did not live with her, but instead has lived with his girlfriend’s parents for about a year. She also said that the judge has given her son previous chances and that he has not taken advantage of those opportunities.
She added, “I want a good society to live in, not a troubled one.”
The 17-year-old boy was taken into custody and will remain in the Grand Mesa Youth Detention Facility in Grand Junction for two weeks. The boy will then be under house arrest with an electronic monitor system until his next court appearance on March 11. The other five were ordered on house arrest, too, and their next court hearing was scheduled for April 8.
Two other boys also have separate pending criminal mischief cases stemming from a Jan. 16 incident in which they are accused of causing damage to the property of another in an amount greater than $1,000.
Arraignment hearings on those cases was postponed until their next court appearance on April 8.
One of the two girls in court also pleaded guilty in a separate disorderly conduct case.
Metzger indicated that in certain circumstances the court will delay sentencing when there is another case pending. He left the decision up to the girl’s mother, who chose to proceed with sentencing in that case. The girl received two years of juvenile intensive supervised probation and 40 hours of public service among other penalties.
One of the victims addressed the court and the juveniles charged with assaulting her.
“I came here because I wanted to address the court and the people who attacked me,” she said. “I am a person and there was no reason for you to attack me.”
She ended her comment by saying, “This is a horrible thing to happen in a small community like this. Good luck to you guys. I don’t know what is going to happen to you.”
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