Steamboat Springs A former Colorado Mountain College student pleaded guilty Friday to two charges stemming from an August theft of an ambulance and an assault on a paramedic at the campus in Steamboat Springs.
Jared Wayne Maynard, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft and third-degree assault in District Judge Joel S. Thompson's courtroom.
Maynard's attorney, Cheryl Hardy-Moore, was able to strike a deal with Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James. According to the plea agreement, St. James amended the motor vehicle theft charge and dismissed three other charges against Maynard.
In return, Maynard pleaded guilty to the motor vehicle theft, a class four felony, and the assault, a class one misdemeanor.
Maynard was with another student, Ryan David Tomkinson, 18, when the two decided to jump into an ambulance that had responded to a CMC residence hall to treat another student. Both men were drunk at the time.
During a brief joyride, in which Maynard was the driver and Tomkinson the passenger, a paramedic and a 20-year-old man being treated for a cut head were in back of the ambulance.
During the incident, paramedic Jeanne Power was assaulted by Maynard. He grabbed Power by her throat as she tried to stop the vehicle.
Power was able to stop the ambulance shortly afterward.
Maynard faces one to 15 years in prison and a fine between $2,000 and $5,000 for the motor vehicle theft. As for the assault charge, Maynard could receive as much as 24 months in the Routt County Jail and a fine.
"There is no agreement in the plea bargain of what sentence I can impose," Thompson said to the young man wearing restraints and a gray sweat outfit.
Thompson will sentence Maynard Oct. 26. Whatever sentence is imposed will be final. Maynard waived his right for Thompson to reconsider the sentences 120 days after it is imposed, meaning Maynard will be unable to ask the judge to reduce or reconsider the sentence.
"We made the deal, so he can get on with his life," said Hardy-Moore after the 30-minute court proceeding. "The district attorney was driving a hard bargain.
"The charges he was charged with had mandatory jail time. The charges he pled guilty to do not require mandatory jail time."
After the proceeding, St. James declined to comment on either the plea agreement or the case.
During the sentencing hearing, Hardy-Moore will be arguing to keep her client our of jail.
"He does not need to go to prison," she said. "By the time we get to the sentencing, he will have served 59 days in jail. He needs to get on with his life."
Bond for Maynard, who is from Houston,has been set at $20,000. He has been unable to post bond since he was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 28.
"This is a case that calls out for treatment instead of incarceration. That is the way I see it, and I hope the judge does, too," Hardy-Moore said.
Initially, Maynard was charged with five counts for the incident. Maynard had been charged with three felonies: first-degree aggravated theft over $15,000, second-degree kidnapping and escape from a pending felony.
He also faced two misdemeanors: third-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
St. James agreed to reduce the motor vehicle charge to less than $15,000.
During the hearing, the blond-haired man with a beard and mustache spoke for the first time in court.
When Thompson asked Maynard what his plea was to the two charges, he replied, "Guilty sir," in a southern accent.
For his involvement in the incident, Tomkinson pleaded guilty to theft, a class two misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 30 days in the Routt County Jail Sept. 13. Tomkinson also was able to make a plea agreement with St. James.
Maynard and Tomkinson are no longer enrolled at the college.
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail gsalazar @amigo.net