Robbery suspect's bond stays


— A judge refused to lower bond for a teenager accused of armed robbery to allow her to go to a drug treatment center.

Ellisa Rhiann Simpson, 18, of Craig, appeared before Routt County Judge James Garrecht on Wednesday asking for a reduction to her $50,000 bond.

Public Defender Ron Smith asked the judge to reduce Simpson's bond so she could go to a drug treatment facility for her addiction to methamphetamine.

He said Simpson had just minor run-ins with the law before her March 23 arrest.

Smith said Simpson had been accepted at a facility in Grand Junction and that a bed would open up by May 11.

"This program would also assist me in being able to communicate with Miss Simpson. She is clearly stressed by the current conditions and would think more clearly and rationally if she had the benefit of a treatment program," Smith said.

Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James objected to the bond reduction and noted that an armed robbery is a significant crime in Steamboat Springs. He said he is considering attaching a crime of violence charge to Simpson's case, which would come with a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

"It gives her reason to flee," St. James said.

St. James also noted that Simpson violated a restraining order while in jail by communicating with her boyfriend, who also was involved in the incident.

Garrecht refused to lower the bond, but he did bind the case over to District Court, where Smith can make another plea for a bond reduction. Simpson is set to appear in District Court on Tuesday.

Simpson was arrested March 23 after a 25-year-old man reported that three teenagers had thrown him on the ground and told him not to move or they would shoot. The victim then said he felt a gun pressed against his head and the group took his wallet and broke his cell phone before fleeing in a car.

The armed robbery allegedly occurred on the Yampa River Core Trail in front of the Howelsen Ice Arena at about 10:45 p.m.

Trevor Ray Hyer, 18 of Craig, and a 17-year-old boy also were arrested and charged with aggravated armed robbery, felony menacing, theft and harassment. Simpson and Hyer also were charged with criminal mischief for damaging the man's cell phone.

Simpson faces additional charges of possession of a schedule 2 substance and possession of drug paraphernalia for a pipe found with methamphetamine residue inside. Hyer was charged with unauthorized use of a credit card.

From the description the victim gave of the vehicle and the three attackers, police were able to track down the suspects in front of 7-Eleven. The police found a realistic-looking toy handgun and the victim's identification card and credit card inside Hyer's vehicle.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail


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