Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Steamboat Springs Richard Lee Prejean Sr. had to wait a few anxious moments Wednesday afternoon before learning his fate for pleading guilty to misdemeanor menacing in December.
Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James could not find the 47-year-old Steamboat Springs man's file.
After a brief delay in the case, the file was found in St. James' office. Prejean was sentenced by Routt County Judge James Garrecht to one year of probation, fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs of $138.
Garrecht also sentenced Prejean to one year in jail but suspended the time behind bars because Prejean served 48 days after he was arrested Oct. 27.
Prejean was also ordered to refrain from drinking alcohol for a year.
Prejean was arrested after he threatened four men while holding a knife at an apartment in the 700 block of Weiss Drive.
Ron Smith, Prejean's attorney, blamed the incident that led to his client's arrest on alcohol.
"Mr. Prejean had been drinking, and the four men had been drinking," Smith said. "It was a misunderstanding."
Prejean confronted the men after overhearing the men using racial slurs while he was walking by the residence.
The men told police Prejean had a "Bowie knife" in his hand and made threats.
During the confrontation, Prejean handed one of the victims the knife, who returned it back to him.
"It was unnecessary," Prejean said of the telephone call the men made to police after he left. "After we were done talking, he apologized for his friend's behavior. We shook hands, and I left. That was the end of it."
Police arrested Prejean at his home in the 800 block of Weiss Drive moments after the telephone call was made.
Police found a "Bowie knife" under a couch inside Prejean's home.
Prejean pleaded guilty to the charge Dec. 20 after a plea agreement was reached between Smith and St. James.
Initially, Prejean was charged with felony menacing.