Woody Creek woman with history of crimes found incompetent
A Woody Creek woman with a long history of stealing from local stores and residents was found incompetent to stand trial Monday amid new allegations that she stole from her neighbors, a prosecutor and District Court judge said.
An evaluation indicates that Jillian White, 63, needs inpatient treatment to be restored to competency, said District Judge Chris Seldin. Her lawyer, Jennifer Longtin of Denver, asked that the restoration be done on an out-patient basis, but Seldin denied the request.
However, the judge delayed his sentence until Friday to give White and her legal team time to find a facility outside the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo — which would normally do the competency restoration — that can provide the restoration service.
Meanwhile, Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham said White will be charged with new counts of theft by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office based on allegations “that she did take things from her neighbors.”
“The neighbors are concerned,” Nottingham said. “They wonder when more stuff will go missing.”
White’s latest run-in with the law occurred in May, when she was charged with stalking and intimidating a witness. That case is related to a DUI charge White received in January after an accident on Highway 82 in which she said a male friend was at the wheel. White allegedly tried repeatedly to get the man to lie to police and say he was driving, according to court documents.
The man wasn’t at the scene of the accident until later, when he arrived by taxi, and a responding Colorado State Patrol trooper told White he knew she was the driver, the documents state.
White allegedly sent the man and his two children numerous harassing and threatening emails in an effort to coerce him into taking the blame for the DUI, according to court records.
White, whose lawyers have previously said she suffered a brain injury, has been charged with DUI four times in Pitkin and Eagle counties since 2014. She’s also been charged with theft at least six times in Pitkin County since 2008.
In other court news Monday:
• A local man charged with robbing the Theatre Aspen concession stand at knifepoint last month told a District Court judge Monday he likely will represent himself in the case.
Yuri Ognacevic, 38, also said he believes he will be acquitted of armed robbery, two counts of felony theft and a misdemeanor count of theft in a jury trial, or that the charges will eventually be dropped. The charges relate to the Theatre Aspen robbery and two purse snatchings in downtown Aspen.
However, Ognacevic said he plans to plead guilty to four counts of weapons possession by a convicted felon related to four guns, including an AR-15, found in his Snowmass Village apartment after the concession stand robbery. He said he may exercise his right to defend himself in the case, though he hasn’t yet made the decision for sure.
Ognacevic also asked District Judge Chris Seldin to lower his $15,000 cash bond — which was paid by his parents — to a personal recognizance bond. Seldin declined the request.
Ognacevic pleaded guilty to armed robbery in 1999 after admitting that he took part in the robbery of Clark’s Market with a group of other local teens.
• An Aspen woman who was arrested for felony DUI twice in four days last week will remain in the Pitkin County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bond.
Leslee Francis’ lawyer, Arnie Mordkin, asked Seldin to lower her bond to $2,500 based on the fact that his client no longer has access to her automobile. Seldin, however, refused the request.
“I do believe there’s a danger to the public posed by Ms. Francis,” the judge said. “What we have, in essence, is three pending felony DUI cases at the same time. That’s a record in this court.”
Francis, who also is set to go on trial in April for a third felony DUI, may eventually face serious consequences, including prison, for the charges, which could lead her to flee, Seldin said in denying the lower bond. All three pending DUIs concern allegations that Francis drove after taking sleeping pills.
Francis has been arrested for DUI six times since 2001. She also pleaded guilty to breaking into her neighbor’s home and stealing blood pressure medicine.
A district court judge Thursday dismissed the remaining criminal counts against the owner of a Basalt-based chiropractor office who had been under grand-jury indictment for allegedly cooperating with one of his massage therapists accused of sexually assaulting clients.