Theft case headed to trial | AspenTimes.com

Theft case headed to trial

Joel Stonington

Ninth Judicial District Judge James Boyd decided there is enough evidence to send Jeffrey Key’s theft case to trial.Key is charged with stealing a cell phone and credit cards which he allegedly used to withdraw $1,000 from Alpine Bank. The preliminary hearing took place Oct. 16, and in an unusual move, Boyd had continued the matter until Thursday to think over the evidence.Aspen police Detective Chris Womack was the only witness to testify in the preliminary hearing. And the majority of his time on the stand was spent identifying Key in a grainy ATM video that is the centerpiece of evidence in the case.According to police, on Aug. 11, a woman at the Lava Room reported her wallet stolen, along with a friend’s cell phone, both out of the same purse. Within an hour of the reported theft, someone went to Alpine Bank and withdrew $1,000 with her card. Aspen police arrested Key after a traffic stop Aug. 23 and found the stolen phone in his car.”We were able to get video from the ATM that shows a white male, with a shirt over his face, drawing money from the ATM,” Womack said. “The shirt fell, revealing his face. It appears to be Jeffrey Key.”In addition to identification of Key in the video, Womack also found what looks like an identifiable vein on Key’s left forearm. At the hearing, however, the vein was hard to make out, even on a large flat-screen television. Key’s lawyer, Arnie Mordkin, asked Womack exactly when he identified Key in the video. He also said there was not solid evidence the ATM was functioning properly. On Thursday, Boyd denied that the ATM malfunctioned and added that there is probable cause that Key committed the crime. Key then entered a plea of not guilty and Boyd set the trial for Feb. 13-16. Key faces this felony charge plus a five-year suspended sentence, if convicted, because he was on probation for theft at the time of the ATM theft. Joel Stonington’s e-mail is jstonington@aspentimes.com

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