Woman pleads to disorderly conduct

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— A 27-year-old Steamboat Springs woman was sentenced to 14 days in jail for scratching a Routt County sheriff deputy in December.

On Wednesday afternoon, Rachel Morgan Fisch pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in Routt County Judge James Garrecht's courtroom.

Fisch pleaded guilty to the class three misdemeanor after a plea agreement was worked out between her attorney, Wayne Westphale, and Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann.

Initially, Fisch was charged with two class four felonies, second-degree assault on a peace officer and third-degree criminal trespass.

The charges were filed because Fisch scratched the right arm of Deputy Brandi Bowden at the county jail just after midnight Dec. 13.

At the time, Fisch was intoxicated. She scratched the deputy while she was being put in a holding cell in the county jail.

She had been taken into custody because she refused to leave the Cellar Lounge, 703 Lincoln Ave., when the management asked her to do so.

Fisch's fingernails penetrated Bowden's skin, causing minor bleeding. Bowden did not need stitches for the wound and did not to miss any time from duty.

"You can be very grateful the officers did not push this," Garrecht said Wednesday to the nicely dressed woman.

Had Fisch been convicted of the assault charge, she would have been sentenced to a mandatory of two years in prison.

"I'm very grateful," said Fisch, dressed in gray slacks, a white dress shirt and a black sports coat. "Thank you."

Feldmann decided to drop the two felony charges based on the stipulation that Fisch serve 14 days in jail.

Feldmann also considered that the woman was intoxicated at the time of the arrest and is receiving counseling.

"I'm convinced this was a one-time act," Feldmann said. "There is not a pattern of this type of behavior."

Westphale characterized Fisch's behavior as an "aberration."

Before Garrecht sentenced the woman, Westphale said his client suffers from a "personality disorder" and will continue to receive counseling.

Westphale also said his client wants to move on with her life because she is getting married and has plans to go back to school.

Feldmann believed a jail term was necessary for the woman, who at the time of her arrest was a substitute teacher's aide for the Steamboat Springs School District.

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