Steamboat Springs A 32-year-old Steamboat Springs man who faces 10 charges was released from jail on his own recognizance Wednesday because of a technicality.
Michael Pope, who faces the charges for allegedly stealing a vehicle last week while intoxicated, was released by Routt County Judge James Garrecht because prosecutors in the District Attorney's Office failed to formally file charges against Pope in a 72-hour period.
Pope was arrested in the early morning hours of July 10 and was being held in the Routt County Jail on a $5,000 bond.
On Wednesday, Pope's attorney, William Schurman, argued his client should be released because charges were filed against his client at 4 p.m. Friday.
Charges should have been filed against Pope by 1 p.m. Friday, Schurman said.
Deputy District Attorney Charles Lance argued Pope's bond should remain at $5,000 because of the numerous charges he faces.
"These are the most charges I have filed in one case," said Lance, who started working with the office at the end of June.
Garrecht released Pope, who was unable to post the bond, on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
Pope faces felony charges of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, first-degree criminal trespass and theft.
He also faces misdemeanor charges of drunken driving, eluding, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with an expired license, disregard of a stop sign and speeding.
The alleged speeding charge is what led to Pope's arrest.
According to court records, at about 1 a.m. an officer attempted to stop a red Jeep that was allegedly speeding on Old Fish Creek Falls Road. Pope was allegedly traveling 52 mph in a 25-mph zone, records show.
The officer attempted to stop the Jeep, which Pope allegedly stole from Mount Werner Lodge. The officer followed the Jeep on Lincoln Avenue and then the chase proceeded to Third Street. At the intersection of Pine and Third streets, Pope allegedly lost control of the sport utility vehicle, got out of the SUV and ran, court records show.
Pope was arrested after police found him hiding in a flower bed outside a bank in the 300 block of Lincoln Avenue, records show.
Pope was advised of the charges by Garrecht at 1 p.m. that same day. From the time of an advisement, prosecutors are required by the state to formally file charges within 72 hours.
During an advisement, Garrecht tells anyone who is arrested they will be released on their own recognizance if charges are not filed in the 72-hour period.