Humphrey gets four years' probation

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The 38-year-old Steamboat Springs woman who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $7,000 from Go-Fer Foods last November was sentenced to four years of probation in district court Thursday and will have to pay back the money she stole.

Denise Humphrey, who has spent more than 100 days at the Routt County Jail, told District Judge Michael O'Hara that she felt remorse for what she had done.

"I'm very sorry to the community for what I've done, your honor," Humphrey said. "I'm looking forward to righting my wrongs, ... to paying my debt back to the community."

In November, Humphrey was arrested after $7,232.81 went missing from the convenience store at 644 Lincoln Ave. She fled to Minnesota, where she was found two weeks later in a hotel room with more than $4,000.

In addition to theft, Humphrey faced charges of third-degree assault and giving false information to a pawnbroker.

Humphrey could have been sentenced to a maximum of four years in the Department of Corrections, followed by three years of probation for the felony theft and another two years in prison for the third-degree assault.

Before giving a sentence, O'Hara considered a confidential investigation by the Probation Department that outlined what course of action was best for the court to take. He also took comments from the attorneys.

Humphrey's attorney, Leslie Goldstein, told O'Hara she felt a probationary sentence was "appropriate" in this case because it was Humphrey's first felony and because her prior record with the court was negligible.

Goldstein also said that Humphrey already had been assigned a bed in the Transitional Living Center in Glenwood Springs. Humphrey can move in to the center June 14.

Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said he agreed with terms of the pre-sentence judgment, and emphasized the importance of in-patient treatment.

O'Hara then told Humphrey that the recommendation from the department was "favorable" to Humphrey.

However, he said, "You did a lot of things in a short amount of time that were wrong."

O'Hara said Humphrey would be released, and he told her she had $12,000 to repay, mostly to those from whom she had stolen money. He instructed her to meet with a collections investigator when she returned from the treatment program.

If Humphrey violates her probation, O'Hara said she could go to prison on theft charges.

"If you don't do what you're supposed to do, you're flirting with disaster," O'Hara said.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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