Man pleads innocent to attempted murder charge

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— Last year, Warren Dean Hillbolt III sat in a courtroom as the victim in a violent crime that Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann prosecuted.

Seven months later, the 33-year-old Yampa man appeared in the same courtroom before the same 14th District judge with the same prosecutor, but this time on the other side of the law.

Hillbolt was arraigned Tuesday on an attempted murder charge.

"I didn't recognize you," District Judge Richard P. Doucette said to Hillbolt, who allegedly shot a 24-year-old co-worker inside his Yampa trailer Dec. 2.

Last year, Kenneth Ferguson, an African-American man who cut Hillbolt's neck during a racially motivated fight outside City Market, was sentenced to five years in prison for the crime.

During Tuesday's court proceeding, Hillbolt entered a not guilty plea to first-degree attempted murder.

"While the charge is a serious one, he has numerous defenses of intoxication and self-defense," said Hillbolt's attorney, Ron Smith.

Hillbolt also pleaded not guilty to a charge of committing a violent crime with a deadly weapon. If he is convicted of the two charges, he could be sentenced to between 16 and 48 years in prison.

The case is now scheduled for a jury trial Aug. 13.

Doucette rejected a request by Smith to lower the $50,000 bond Hillbolt is being held on in the Routt County Jail.

Arguing against lowering the bond, Feldmann pointed out to Doucette that Hillbolt was being held on an attempted murder charge, has a criminal history and recently failed to appear in Routt County Court to face a charge of drunken driving.

"The standard bond amount for this particular crime is a reasonable amount," the prosecutor said.

Smith countered his client has lived in Routt County for the past five years, has all his personal belongings here and works for a local framing company.

"He wants to go back to work," Smith said.

Smith asked Doucette to reduce the bond to $10,000, which Doucette declined to do.

"This court has no inclination to reduce bond," Doucette said. "You don't have enough connections here to ensure you won't be in Costa Rica the next time you are scheduled to appear in court."

Hillbolt, wearing an orange jail suit and metal hand and foot restraints, kicked a chair and shook his head as he left the courtroom.

The state contends that Hillbolt shot Jared Williams with a 9 mm semiautomatic rifle inside Hillbolt's Yampa trailer at 116400 Colorado 131. Hillbolt surrendered to Routt County sheriff's deputies minutes after the shooting.

Before the shooting, Hillbolt, Williams and another man had been drinking at a restaurant in Steamboat Springs. The men all worked together.

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