Routt County Judge James Garrecht refused to lower a $20,000 bail bond for a man who was recorded on jail phones saying he wanted to go to Canada.
On Sunday, Anthony Ray Matthews, 33, of Phippsburg, was arrested on suspicion of ethnic intimidation and harassment, both misdemeanor charges.
While at the Routt County Jail, Matthews had a telephone conversation with his wife and reportedly made the comment that they should go to Canada. Routt County Jail officials recorded that comment.
The comment caused the District Attorney's Office to request setting the bond amount at $20,000, an amount to which Garrecht agreed. The typical bond amount on a misdemeanor charge is $750.
Matthews' attorney Larry Combs said his client did not really intend to flee to Canada, and it was a comment made out of frustration at the local justice system. Combs said Matthews has a wife and five children who live in Routt County and no reason to leave.
In Matthews' past criminal cases, Combs said, he has never failed to appear in court or had his bond revoked.
"A person can say something. Unless they have the ability to act on it, it is an empty threat," Combs said.
Garrecht disagreed and said that with three cases in the Routt County Court and a felony case in district court, Matthews was a perfect candidate to flee.
"He has all the incentive in the world to leave, more than anybody," Garrecht said.
According to police, Matthews was arrested Sunday after allegedly making racial slurs to an employee at Wal-Mart. Steamboat Springs police said Matthews tried to cash a $5,000 check, which the Wal-Mart employee refused to do.
Then, Matthews began yelling and calling the employee inappropriate names and threatening him, police said.
Matthews left the store, and police later arrested him at his home.
On Wednesday afternoon, Matthews did bond out of the Routt County Jail.
Also in Routt County Court on Wednesday, all of Phillip Robinson's cases were bound over to District Court to a March 4 hearing. The 23-year-old Steamboat Springs man most recently was arrested Feb. 8 on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. As Steamboat Springs police officers tried to handcuff Robinson and place him in a patrol car, he reportedly kicked one officer and spat in his face.
On Nov. 10, Robinson also was arrested on suspicion of stealing three vehicles, breaking into a home and leading police officers on a brief chase before being taken down with a Taser stun gun.
-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org