Steamboat Springs A 15-year-old boy who stole a truck and eluded authorities in a high-speed chase over Rabbit Ears Pass has been sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to complete boot camp and a juvenile offender program.
The boy was sentenced this week for his part in a March 14 incident in which he and another boy walked out of the Moffat County Youth Care Center and led lawmen on a 60-mile chase that began in Walden and ended in Old Town Steamboat, when officers cornered the stolen truck they were driving.
After his capture, the boy spent 85 days in a locked-down facility for juvenile offenders until his sentencing this week.
The other boy, who is approximately the same age, was sentenced to two years in the Department of Youth Services in a lock-down facility for juvenile offenders in Grand Junction.
The 15-year-old who appeared in District Court on Monday was ordered to complete boot camp and to attend the Western Academy in Rifle. He will reportedly receive therapy and treatment at the academy in a secure, but not locked-down, facility.
Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann requested that the boy spend two years at the locked-down facility in Grand Junction to protect society from what he called a "mind-boggling offense."
"He drove in excess of 110 mph over the pass, went on the wrong side of the road at least six times, forced two vehicles to the shoulder and went around road spikes set up by the state patrol," Feldmann said.
The boy's attorney, Sandra Gardner, said her client's mother refused to take him back after he got in trouble approximately four years ago for threatening another child with a pair of scissors. Gardner said the boy was evaluated and found to have attachment disorder. She urged the judge not to send him to the youth detention facility where his emotional problems wouldn't get the attention they deserve.
A foster family cared for the boy for six months before the chase. They appeared in court Monday and stated their desire to help him further.
Judge Richard Doucette said he was giving the boy one last opportunity by sending him to the academy and boot camp. If the boy breaks the law again, Doucette said he would send him to a more secure detention facility.
"It's your choice. You're 15 now and you have the ability to know right from wrong," Doucette said. "It's your call from now on."
To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org