Troubled Aspen man ends up back in jail
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Sipping a pink cocktail in a local bar last Friday night landed Devin Schutter, 29, back in the Pitkin County jail.
Aspen police officers serving Schutter a warrant on an earlier probation violation found Schutter drinking in a bar and arrested him.
In district court on Monday, Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols filed new charges of violating bond conditions that prohibit him from consuming alcohol.
If convicted on the new charge, Schutter faces an additional one year to 18 months in prison on top of sentencing for a laundry list of pending cases, including felony drug possession with intent to distribute, stalking and domestic violence, as well as three probation violations and now multiple bond violations.
Schutter has a criminal history stretching back to 1993 and could wind up in prison for decades if convicted.
At 8 p.m. May 16, Aspen police responded to the Double Dog Brew Pub with a warrant for Schutter’s arrest on probation violations, according to a police affidavit.
There, they witnessed Schutter sipping a pink cocktail through a straw and “tapped him on the shoulder.”
Schutter left his drink and followed officers to the door of the bar. One officer collected the beverage.
A later test of the drink found it contained alcohol, a violation of Schutter’s bond conditions.
Schutter was taken into custody in the Pitkin County jail.
In court Monday, Nichols said Schutter was in “nonstop noncompliance” with terms of his probation and needed something to “catch his attention,” so she called for a high bond amount in the case.
Schutter’s attorney, public defender Garth McCarty, said posting bond was designed to ensure court appearances and not to punish him. He added that Schutter normally makes required appearances at court dates.
“Mr. Schutter has accumulated a significant track record of new cases,” Judge Thomas Ossola said. “He’s looking at some stacked sentences.”
Ossola set Schutter’s bond on the new charges at $50,000 (for a total of $82,500 in bonds on pending cases and more than $150,000 altogether) to ensure Schutter’s continued court appearances and to deter repeat offenses.
In a later suppression hearing, Ossola denied McCarty’s request to quash Schutter’s testimony following his November arrest for harassment and stalking.
Schutter is alleged to have threatened Emily Billings, a woman Schutter claimed took $600 from him. He allegedly texted messages to her saying he was going to “come in blazin'” if she didn’t pay him back.
On June 30, he will face the harassment and stalking charges in district court.
On Monday evening, Schutter was still in custody at the Pitkin County jail.
Misti Murphy, 28, agreed to a plea deal in district court Monday after earlier pleading guilty to felony theft charges.
Using a credit card and later falsifying records, Murphy admitted to stealing more than $13,000 from her former employer, Basalt-based Durgin Electric.
“I’m sorry. I know it was wrong,” said a contrite Murphy in court on Monday.
Murphy’s attorney, public defender Garth McCarty, said a warrant arrest while Murphy was on Thanksgiving vacation with her husband and children in Kansas was “extremely humiliating.” And McCarty characterized the 27 days in jail in Kansas, then New Mexico before coming to Pitkin County “torture” for Murphy.
“She’s gotten the scare of her life,” McCarty said, adding that the case has ruined her marriage and, now a single mother, Murphy faces large financial restitution.
The judge agreed to a plea deal giving Murphy a four-year deferred judgment in her sentencing on the theft charge.
Murphy also agreed to pay more than $20,000 in restitution and accounting fees to Durgin Electric, as well as write a letter of apology and do 15 hours of community service.
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Jailed Coloradans waiting longer and longer for competency services, with sometimes tragic consequences
Two years ago, Colorado made a promise: No one should have to wait in jail — before they’re convicted of anything — for more than 28 days for mental health restoration if they’ve been deemed incompetent to stand trial. But currently 347 people have been either awaiting pretrial evaluations or mental health restoration for longer than that. One person has been waiting for 325 days.