Thursday, February 10, 2005
Two of five men who were charged with breaking into a duplex and stealing alcohol pleaded guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor criminal trespassing in Routt County Court on Thursday.
Trent Allan Owens, 21, and Alexander Vantrell Longo, 20, each pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and so will not face their original charges of second-degree burglary and theft.
Routt County Judge James Garrecht sentenced each man to one year of unsupervised probation, 100 hours of useful public service, a $100 fine and other costs, and $40 to pay for cleaning at the house, which can be split among all five men involved. The men cannot contact two other participants in the crime.
The men received no jail time.
A third man involved, Michael Edward Ford, 19, was scheduled to appear with Longo and Owens, but he was out of the country, so his case has been rescheduled for next Wednesday. At that time, Ford is expected to enter a misdemeanor plea in his case as a disposition has been reached, according to court documents.
Cases for two other alleged participants -- Collin Michael Ciohon, 20, and Max Abraham Ostrov, 18 -- will be heard April 1 in District Court.
Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said that, according to the statements of the five men, it appeared that Owens and Longo entered the house with the intention of getting the other men out. The better choice probably would have been to call police, St. James said.
But no matter what Owens' and Longo's intentions were, the homeowners were violated because their house was entered, St. James said.
The settlement, he said, "hopefully won't be a major impediment" to the two men's futures.
The men were offered a deferred judgment for a felony charge, but they chose the route of pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, St. James said.
The men were arrested Oct. 16 at 2925 AprÃs Ski Way after a nearby neighbor saw five people entering the next-door unit through the backdoor. The woman called the out-of-town property owners, who said the men should not be in the house. The witness saw the men carrying items out of the house and contacted police.
The police suspect the men unlawfully entered their neighboring duplex and took two six packs of Bacardi 0 and Smirnoff Ice and a couple of beers.