Thursday, October 26, 2000
Steamboat Springs Jared Wayne Maynard, convicted of stealing an ambulance and assaulting a paramedic, sat with a blank stare after being sentenced to serve 18 months in the Routt County Jail.
After receiving the sentence from District Judge Joel S. Thompson for his actions at Colorado Mountain College at the end of August, Maynard stunned the courtroom by spitting in the face of Lt. Fred Johnston as the officer attempted to remove Maynard from the courtroom. The red-faced lieutenant then wiped off his glasses.
Thompson cleared the stunned and silent courtroom while other officers were called to the scene. The former CMC student had to be dragged out of the courtroom by his feet. Johnson tugged on one leg and a Steamboat Springs officer pulled the other.
Maynard was put into an elevator and then was carried by three officers to a Suburban outside. Maynard was placed in back of the sheriff's vehicle and driven away.
The act was a culmination of a sentencing hearing that lasted more than an hour that portrayed Maynard, 20, as an immature man with a drug and alcohol problem.
Maynard's father, William, and his attorney, Cheryl Hardy-Moore, blamed Maynard's actions in the early morning hours of Aug. 28 on immaturity and his history of drug and alcohol use.
In a drunken stupor, Maynard jumped into the driver's seat of an ambulance that had responded to the CMC campus to treat a student that had cut his head. A paramedic, Jeanne Power, and the man were in back of the ambulance when Maynard drove the vehicle.
The brief joyride ended when Power was able to stop the ambulance by putting the vehicle's automatic gear shift in "park."
Before Power was able to stop the vehicle, Maynard grabbed the five-year veteran by the throat and pinned her against the ambulance's dashboard.
In a plea agreement, Maynard pleaded guilty to the motor vehicle theft, a class four felony, the assault, a class one misdemeanor, and waived his right for Thompson to reconsider his sentence after 120 days.
"On behalf of my son and myself, I would like to apologize for the actions of my son," said William Maynard, who had traveled from Houston, Texas. "Jared may be 20 years old, but he has the emotional state and maturity of a 12- to 15-year-old."
The elder Maynard told the court about his son's struggle in his upbringing that included diagnoses of attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and depression. As he got older, he also used drugs and alcohol, Maynard said.
Because of his struggles, Maynard was bounced around public and private schools as he was growing up and also was put into three substance-abuse rehabilitation centers.
"Along the way, Jared would get himself into the position where he would get kicked out," he said.
Maynard thought his son was turning his life around when he enrolled in CMC this past fall to study resort management.
"One of the last things I told him was to stay away from alcohol and drugs," he said. "He has never been able to handle alcohol. He can't control his behavior when he has been drinking."
Maynard explained his son was not a violent person and suggested why he might have assaulted Power.
"Ever since he was young, he never liked to be touched," he said. "I don't understand what happened that night, but he may have been touched or startled and reacted."
Maynard asked his son to be put on probation so he could take his son to a rehabilitation treatment center in California, where a spot has been reserved for him.
Hardy-Moore also argued her client should receive probation. She pointed out that Maynard did not have a criminal history and had served 61 days in jail.
"He is a much less mature 20-year-old than I have ever met," she said. "If we put him in prison, he will have that much more emotional damage. It is time to get on with the treatment program. He is not functioning as an adult, but as a child."
Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James argued Maynard had been given enough chances and jail time was necessary.
"You have a track record here," St. James said. "Treatment No. 4 is not going to be better than treatment No. 3."
St. James called Maynard's actions "life-threatening" and pointed out his actions have had an impact on Power.
"Since this incident, I have had to consider every incident I go on as dangerous," Power said to the court. "I now have to hold patients at an arms length for my own safety. It is unfortunate I have to do that now.
"I was afraid for my life and that ambulance. I feel badly for everyone involved, but that does not change what happened. The potential is there for this to happen again. I know what happened to me."
After Thompson considered both arguments, he decided a prison sentence was not appropriate in this case.
However, he did believe the sentence he handed down, 18 months in the Routt County Jail, four years of supervised probation and a $2,200 fine, sends a message.
"In jail, he will be sober and it will give him a strong motivation to succeed," Thompson said. "This sentence sends a message to others in the community for engaging in this activity."
Maynard could have been sentenced one to 15 years in prison and fined between $2,000 and $5,000 for the theft conviction. For the assault charge, he could have received 24 months in the Routt County Jail and a fine.
Thompson said is disappointed with Maynard's actions.
"The job of emergency personnel is an extremely difficult one," he said. "For them to have to deal with this additional risk is an outrage."
Before Maynard was sentenced, he pleaded for Thompson not to send him to prison.
"I'm very sorry for what I did, sir, to that lady," he said, stammering. "I don't want to go to prison. I'm very sorry. I'm never going to drink at all."
Maynard's sentencing ends the incident that also involved a second man, Ryan Tomkinson. Tomkinson, 18, pleaded guilty to theft, a class two misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 30 days in the Routt County Jail Sept. 13.
Maynard and Tomkinson are no longer enrolled at the local college.
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail gsalazar @amigo.net