Sweet Pea owners: 'We didn't want this'

Jail time for taking food from trash 'ridiculous,' Hieb says

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— One of the owners of a fresh produce store said Saturday that it is absurd that two men are in jail for taking spoiled fruit and vegetables from the store's trash area.

On Wednesday, Giles Charle, 24, of Somersworth, N.H., and David Siller, 27, of Wayne, Pa., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespass and were sentenced to spend six months in Routt County Jail and pay $15 in restitution to Sweet Pea Produce. The men were on their way to the Rainbow Family of Living Light Gathering in North Routt County when they were arrested June 26.

The men admitted that they jumped a fence and took fruits and vegetables from the garbage area at Sweet Pea. They originally were charged with felony second-degree burglary and misdemeanor theft. They accepted the plea agreement offered by Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James, they said, because they did not want to risk being convicted of a felony.

"Once I found out what these guys were being charged with, I contacted (St. James)," said Jonathon Hieb, who owns Sweet Pea with Katherine Zambrana. "I told him, 'We're not behind this prosecution. We don't want anything to do with it.' I thought for sure my input would have some kind of bearing, but he wasn't hearing any of it."

Hieb said St. James told him he was going to make an example of the men.

On Friday, St. James said it was the men's decision to accept the plea agreement. He would not comment on suggestions that he was trying to make an example of Charle and Siller. St. James was not available Saturday for comment. Neither was his boss, District Attorney Bonnie Roesink.

Hieb said police contacted him the night of the incident. Police said a neighbor had reported suspicious men at the store after hours.

When first contacted by police, Hieb said he would press charges. He said the men were found with a Sweet Pea Produce bag, which generally only could be acquired from inside the store. He didn't want them released until he knew what might be missing from or damaged inside the store.

But Hieb said an inspection showed the men never entered the store and must have found one of the store's bags in the trash area. When police gave Hieb and Zambrana paperwork to fill out and offer their side of what happened, Hieb and Zambrana declined and said they did not want to press charges.

"Immediately - the next day - we said, 'We don't want anything to do with this,'" Hieb said.

Hieb said he later learned from Wayne Westphale, the men's attorney, that they were facing felony charges. Hieb said he agreed with Westphale's suggestion of 10 to 20 hours of community service as an appropriate punishment. Westphale could not be reached Saturday for comment.

"These guys jumped over the fence and got some over-ripe produce. What they did, at most, was a temporary slip of judgment," Hieb said. "These guys are not criminals. For them to be in jail is ridiculous."

Charle most recently worked as a social worker. Siller is an Americorps volunteer and a yoga instructor. Both men had plans to go to graduate school, family and friends said.

The men could have accepted a lesser jail sentence.

"They had a choice between accepting a deferred felony with 90 days in jail or a misdemeanor conviction with six months in jail," St. James said Friday. "It came down to whether they wanted a felony conviction with less jail time or a misdemeanor with more jail."

St. James also asked Judge James Garrecht to fine the men $42 for each day they serve in jail, the standard cost of care for inmates. Garrecht refused.

Kris Hammond, a Steamboat Springs attorney, met with the men when they sought a second opinion in their case. Hammond, like Westphale, advised the men to plead to the misdemeanor and accept the six-month sentence.

"The way I put it to them was, 'Could you win your case? Yes. But am I willing to gamble a felony conviction that you're going to win? No,'" Hammond said Saturday.

Hammond said there really was no choice. If they pleaded guilty to the felony, he said, the men faced four years of supervised probation before their records would have been cleared. Also, they would have had to apply for an interstate transfer to serve their probation outside of Colorado.

"Defendants are given these kinds of choices every day," Hammond said. "This one is particularly egregious, but the same kind of thing goes on in a lot of cases."

Shaune McCarthy Charle, Giles Charle's mother, said the men talked to several attorneys, who all advised them to take the misdemeanor deal.

"We've been working on this all summer long," she said. "We just felt like we were completely helpless. Everyone said there was no hope, no hope, no hope. We're absolutely flabbergasted by what has happened."

Hammond said there is little recourse for the men now, barring a decision by the DA's office to amend the agreement and shorten the sentence.

"My job is to defend my clients no matter what," Hammond said. "The DA's job is to seek justice, not just a conviction. It's hard to see the justice in this."

Call Scott Stanford at 871-4221 or e-mail him at sstanford@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

spiderqueen1 8 years, 7 months ago

Has the ADA been smoking products from thr evidence locker? Unfortunately I do not live in Routt County so I cannot vote against the incumbent DA. If I were a Routt County taxpayer I would be outraged at this waste of public resources. Don't you have any real crimes to prosecute up there?

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cforevereyez 8 years, 7 months ago

Liberty and justice for all?

Not in Steamboat Springs, CO

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lobotimized 8 years, 7 months ago

Come to Steamboat and be "paranoid" of your every move! Be careful out there!

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david 8 years, 7 months ago

Did Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern the actions of attorneys in Colorado?

In this regard, Rule 3.8, Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor, requires, inter alia, that a "prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause." In addition, there is a question whether Mr. St. James violated Rule 3.1, Meritorious Claims and Contentions.

In turn, these questions raise a fundamental issue of whether the gravamen of the State's action against the defendants is justicable under Colorado law. According to newspaper reports, they were charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.

By way of background, these offenses are defined in the Colorado Criminal Code. First, § 18-4-401 (1) of the Colorado Revised Statutes ("CRS") states that a "person commits theft when he knowingly obtains or exercises control over anything of value of another." While no doubt the over-ripe produce taken from outside the store was of value to the defendants, that is immaterial. The important thing is that the decretal language of the statute requires that the produce must be of value to the putative owner. However, in view of the store owner's alleged abandonment of the produce as garbage, it no longer had any value to him. Thus, any prosecution was not actionable, because this essential element of the crime of theft was lacking.

Second, a necessary element of the crime of burglary, as defined in CRS § 18-4-202, - 203, is that it must be done "with intent to commit therein a crime....against another person or property." Here, the alleged underlying crime, i.e., the "theft" of abandoned produce, is no crime at all. As Colorado's highest court held in Henson v. People, 166 Colo. 428, without proof of the value of "stolen" property there can be no conviction. Simply re-stated, produce which has been thrown out no longer had any value to the putative store owner.

Moreover, another essential element of burglary is intent to commit a crime against property. "Intent" is a state-of-mind requirement. In this instance, it is of some probative value that the newspaper reported that "Hieb [the store owner] said an inspection showed the men never entered the store." This statement appears to provide exculpatory evidence as to the defendants' state of mind, because they would have reasonable grounds to believe that over-ripe produce abandoned outside of the store would have had no value to the owner, and thus supports their contention that they were not intending to commit an act of theft.

Therefore, it appears that Mr. James has misinterpreted the legislative intent of the law with respect to value of the goods and the defendants' state-of-mind.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Excellent post, David!

Where were you when these guys needed a good lawyer?

And, since you seem to know your law, can Mr. Siller and Mr. Charle take legal action against Mr. St. James and the courts for their improper prosecution?

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david 8 years, 7 months ago

And, since you seem to know your law, can Mr. Siller and Mr. Charle take legal action against Mr. St. James and the courts for their improper prosecution?

No. In this case, they would have immunity from suit. But as a matter of attorney discipline, no member of the bar has immunity from being admonished, censured, or placed in a remedial program, or in the case of gross negligence or misconduct, from facing suspension of his or her license or disbarment.

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HairyJane 8 years, 7 months ago

Mom and Pop should get their heads out of there dumpster and smell the stench of the policestate there in baby killing Steemedboat Springs.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, David, in this case I would hope for disbarment!

Can you either repost your original comments on the other board or grant me permission to copy and paste it? The message board on the original story is much more active than this one.

Thanks for your comments.

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butterat42 8 years, 7 months ago

Do the people and the business community of Steamboat Springs support Mr. St. James farce? I will be following this case closely (from a safe distance from Steamboat Springs), and unless and until this travesty is ended I will maintain that distance. My regret is that I will not have the opportunity to vote against the District Attorney in the next election.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Call Mr. Kerry St. James and tell him what you think of his performance

970-879-1146

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intowner 8 years, 7 months ago

And Kerry St. James wonders why his name wasn't sent to the governor as a potential appointee for district court judge. His abuses of power resulted in little to no support in the legal community. Imagine how he would act if he were judge! This situation simply would be a farce if it weren't for the lasting effects on the lives of these two young men.

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St_joke 8 years, 7 months ago

This town has gotten out of hand with prosecution. They just love locking people up and getting every last dime out of them. It's Steamboat if you haven't lived here all your life your simply screwed!!!!!!

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jonathon 8 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for all your comments concerning this sad situation. I'm speaking for myself, Jonathon Hieb and on the behalf of Katherine Zambrana,owners of Sweet Pea Produce. Sorry it has taken so long to reply, as we were working at our store and doing our local farmers market today. Sweet Pea does not agree with the offer made to these young men, by DA St. James. I personally spoke with St. James concerning this matter a month ago. I told St. James that I was concerned with what he had offered these men, and before I could even explain my position St James rudely interrupted me and specifically told me he wasn't going to have these young men and the rainbow people come into our nice town and take it over. And he added, that he was going to make an example out of them. I was so furious I soon ended the conversation, in fear I would say something that I would later regret. Now I'm going to say what I should have said to St. James that day. In my opinion DA St James purposely put these young men in a situation were they had to choose jail time instead of excepting a felony that would have ill effects on them for the rest of their lives. These young men are clearly not criminals and are ambitious in their endeavors as social workers and as teachers, a felony on thier record would surely crush these dreams.Basically, St. James made them choose between the lesser of two evils.This matter could have been handled with an apology, an at most a small amount of community service.Instead, St. James has made Steamboat Springs look like a place that is absent of compassion and most of all common sense.I think it's time Mr. St. James questioned his ability to serve the people of routt co. I will be glad to talk to anyone concerning this matter but please no more threatening phone calls to Sweet Pea, as some of my employees are truly scared. Please call me personnally 970 846.1907 Sincerely, Jonathon Hieb P.S. We do recycle our overipe produce, we give it to local pig farmers. And thanks for the compost idea.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

I said it on the other board and I'll say it again here. Thank you for your honesty and your courage here to speak out against this injustice. I hope that everyone in Steamboat Springs recognizes where the evil is and continues to appreciate your stand and your product. I am hoping to get a national email campaign going to get these guys out of jail and am hoping for your support. Do we have it?

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Call Mr. Kerry St. James and tell him what you think of his performance -

970-879-1146

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1FRANKENSTEIN 8 years, 7 months ago

SWEET PEA PLEASE PUT UP A VERY LARGE AND LOUD SIGN, NOTICE AGAINST THIS STUPID ACTION, PERHAPS YOU CAN HELP THE MOST............REPEAL THE SENTENCE, REPENT

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zen 8 years, 7 months ago

Kerry St. James's actions are an intolerable act of legal terrorism - the aggressive and abusive use of the law as a weapon to terrorize and intimidate for self-interested purpose. St. James is a courtroom bully with little understanding of human dignity or compassion. St. James should resign immediately, and I encourage the Colorado Bar Association to issue a professional reprimand. Kerry - you are without a human heart.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

I repeat:

Call Mr. Kerry St. James at 970-879-1146 with your comments about his performance!

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freshair 8 years, 7 months ago

Grow up children. Nobody ever said Life was Fair. OJ, Robert Blake and Michael Jackson beat obvious Murder and Child Molesting raps and these 2 'outstanding' examples of young manhood, given a choice between lesser time or 6 months, choose their own fate. Steamboat will do quite nicely without the Rainbow crowd and their camp followers. Yes, indeed, kindly take yourselves somewhere else where the Locals can 'enjoy' crossing paths with foul smelling, walking piles of dog-feces- smelling-drugged-out- social misfits in their midst. By all means, put Steamboat on your NO Go List.

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isobel 8 years, 7 months ago

Hi, Im the sister of Giles Charle, one of the boys. I would like to thank the readers of the Pilot for all their support, it really makes us feel good to know that not everyone is crazy!

More importantly, there is something you can do to help! Please call asst. District Attorney Kerry St. James at (970) 879-1146, or better yet, his boss District Attorney Bonnie Smith Roesink at (303) 824-7041 and demand that the sentences of these two obvious non-criminals Giles Charle and David Siller be reduced to not include jail sentence, as is the will of the Sweet Pea owners. As citizens of Steamboat Springs, refuse to pay for them to sit in prison for six months. You all have the right to dictate how your money is spent!

Tell Bonnie Roesink, who is up for re-election in 2007, that St. James is way off base, and should resign or at least learn a serious lesson in justice. If she wants to be re-elected, she needs to listen to what the community wants. Please help and tell your friends! Also, if anyone has the email of any of these two, please post it and spread the word.

Thanks, Isobel Charle

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isobel 8 years, 7 months ago

Also, that email petition sounds like a great idea! I already asked everyone in my address book to send a demand of release message to luv_veggies@hotmail.com and you should all do the same! Thanks

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isobel 8 years, 7 months ago

In response to 379664: Actually, what our lawyer explained to us was that once the plea bargain had already been decided by the DA and reached, the judge had no power to change the sentence. The boys did not even get a chance to explain their position to the judge. All the judge did was say that they would not have to pay for their time in jail, at which point St. James piped in and suggested that they should pay because some travelers checks were found on them at the time of arrest. Fortunately for the boys, but unfortunately for the people of Steamboat, the judge did not make them pay. I am not sure how this all makes sense legally, perhaps someone else has some insight? If anyone has some ideas of how to help or knows more about these legal rules, please email me at isobelava@gmail.com Thanks again!

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jonathon 8 years, 7 months ago

Hey, 379664 be careful what you say. The Sweet Pea owners did not call the police, they were home eating diner after working twelve hours when the police called them and informed them of the situation. Some people staying in the condos across the street from Sweet Pea called the police. This took place at 7:45 p.m in the evening, Sweet Pea closes at 7:00 p.m. Please people if you are not sure about the facts,refrian from making false comments, you are hurting innocent people. Remember, police records are public documents for your viewing. Let's try to be more deligent in our comments.

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bigdog 8 years, 7 months ago

I beleive this thing is about to heat up big time. The national media outlets are starting to pick this story up. Not good for tourism or St. James.

The Crap is going to fly next week!

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isobel 8 years, 7 months ago

Im not sure I should respond to this because what you're insinuating is so absurd, but they were Giles' (from the bank - money he earned working as a social worker). Please refrain from trying to catch them in some sort of lie. The whole story is out there.

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grammy303 8 years, 7 months ago

this is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. trash is trash. just another way to waste tax payers moey. i think the d.a. should go to jail for 6mos. for even prosecuting this stupid so-called crime. why don't they spend more time on the real criminals.

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jonathon 8 years, 7 months ago

379664:

Thanks for correcting me on police records. And yes it is a awesome fall day in Steamboat, let's get out there and enjoy it. Thanks for all your comments, and Isobel I hope things start getting better for you and your brother. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

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bigdog 8 years, 7 months ago

379664

While I agree with your premise, the fact is that each case you used as a comparison of using the "Temporary Slip of Judgment" they by far exceed the "crime" of dumpster diving. The laws, enforcement and punishment should be applied with balance, which in this case there was a gross overstep of reasonableness - imho.

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EricBInVermont 8 years, 7 months ago

I have known one of the men (Giles Charle) for many years, and can personally attest to his upstanding character. In fact, just before returning to Steamboat to deal with the legal charges, he worked for me and his aunt at our house for two days, busting his hump from sunup to sundown, doing every odious chore that I've avoided for the past year: turning the compost piles, digging up and replanting the strawberries, hauling a cord of logs to the woodpile, etc etc. Just to make a few bucks to defray some of his legal expenses!

During his visit, Giles was obviously very concerned about the legal charges against him in Steamboat. Like his own attorney, my cousin (who's also an attorney) strongly advised him to plead to a misdemeanor to avoid any possibility of a felony conviction. Among other consequences, someone with a felony conviction is denied the right to vote in many states, and a big reason why Giles took the misdemeanor plea was to avoid being disenfranchised for life.

I am very proud of Giles for facing six months in your county jail on this absurdly trumped-up charge in part to safeguard his fundamental right to participate in our democracy.

For my part, I wonder whether there is a wider connection between this one action by the crusading Mr St James, seeking felony convictions for taking spoiled fruit from a trash can, and our current national reality, where those controlling our government attempt to intimidate and even disenfranchise their political opponents whenever and however they can.

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zen 8 years, 7 months ago

Two questions - Was there harm? Was there intention to harm? The answer to both question in this case is NO. Slippery slope logic connecting the "temporary lapse of judgement" of these 2 to that of Karr or bin Laden is asinine. You must also look at outcomes.

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matilda 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe The owners of Sweet Pea, Jonathon Hieb and Katherine Zambrana, could turn this around by offering the 2 men in jail a job. Certainly nonviolent offenders would qualify for a work release program. Just a thought...... it's not thier responsibility but it would make a definate statement on their position and get noticed. Any way these guys are hard workers.

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levasseur1 8 years, 7 months ago

As an adult who watched Giles Charle grow up in my neighborhood and play with my children I can certainly attest to the kind of person that Giles has become. He is exceedingly kind and generous much like his father, my physician and dear friend. Giles is passionate and creative much like his mother, a talented artist and someone I am happy also to consider my dear friend. In short, Giles has grown into a fine young man who has devoted both his academic pursuits and his professional calling to helping others less fortunate than himself.

Now I know that is "conventional wisdom" that bad things often happen to good people. Giles seems to have found himself in the middle of a situation that he argueably contributed to by removing discarded food from a trash area on private property. However, the situation seems to me from a distance, to be overly politicized and blown out of all proportion to the actions. Neither Giles nor David nor anybody's son or daughter deserves to made an example of in a way that may cause irreperable harm to their person and/or reputation.

The injustice of this jail sentence borders on the criminal in and of itself. The local judicial system and governmental agencies of Steamboat Springs are not well served by this action. The example being made will, in the end come back to harm the areas image. Whatever the real motivation of the Assistant District Attorney, he is being terribly short-sighted. From the statements that I read in your paper from the store owner, it would seem that any political mileage that the ADA sought to achieve by his "crusading zeal" will only earn him the emnity of many of the community's voters.

What needs to happen here is simple and straightforward. Giles and David need to be set free immediately! Set them free and walk in the light of humanity as fair judge of what is prudent and right.

Tom Levasseur

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isobel 8 years, 7 months ago

Please email Bonnie Roesink the distric attornery (and the boss of Mr. St. James) at Broesink@moffatcounty.net and let her know your outraged! It is still possible that with enough pressure Giles and David could be released. thanks

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intowner 8 years, 7 months ago

379664: it appears that you are familiar with Ms. Roesink. The fact is that, whenever someone complains about Mr. St. James' abuses, she vigorously defends him. She is the elected official, so she is the one who should be held responsible.

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bolter 8 years, 7 months ago

Tremendous power, terrible judgment, and no adult supervision. Is it any wonder that Mr. St. James is running amok?

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bolter 8 years, 7 months ago

When the assistant coach makes questionable calls, the head coach must step up and:

1) Stand by the assistant and explain why; or 2) Woodshed the assistant; or 3) Fire the assistant.

If the head coach won't do anything, it's time for a new head coach.

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EricBInVermont 8 years, 7 months ago

Hi 379664. No, it's not his habit. As has been said (and you have already mocked), it was a lapse of judgment, and he is eager to atone. He hoped to do community service or to work for the Sweet Pea owners, if they were willing, to pay back his injury to them. And as I have seen firsthand, he works hard. But where is the proportion and the sense in threatening a felony for this small transgression, then offering only a plea to six months of jail? I suspect that these two have been singled out for extreme punishment because of resentment in the community against the Rainbow folks generally. Besides being unfair, that won't do anything to compensate the owners, who were actually trespassed against, who have strongly criticized the ADA, and who ironically as taxpayers now will have to help foot the bill for the jail time which they oppose. However, I'm sure we'll hear from you again, probably to demand that the pair be executed to save that taxpayer expense, or to send a strong message to Osama bin Laden that we won't accept the Twinkie Defense, or something like that.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Ann, you are getting a bit silly in your attempts to lay the blame for this entire situation soley at the feet of Mr. Siller and Mr. Charle. Everyone KNOWS that Santa will only make ONE trip.

Duh!

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

379664 -

Regardless of any point you've made or failed to make, I think it is in very poor taste for you to post messages to the family and friends of the 2 young men referring to them as "ding-a-lings", "mentally ill", and insinuating that they cheques might have been stolen. You're just not a very nice person, from what I can see, and a apparently don't even try.

And Bigdog -

Sorry, the national press is not "just starting to get wind of this" -- It was on the AP on Friday and has been all over the country for 2 days now. It was even headline news in the United Kingdom.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

It's obvious that Mr. St. James isn't the only person in Steamboat Springs that dislikes the Rainbow Family. And maybe that's totally justifiable. Maybe they do cause problems for the locals.

It STILL doesn't give him the moral right to stick it to these 2 guys the way he did. He is STILL in the wrong, and he would not have had the same plea deal for any 2 other people who might come to Steamboat Springs. Since Mr. Hieb did not request any kind of compensation or punishment, it would have gone away for anyone else. Mr. St. James would not have taken action if this had been a couple of rich local teenagers looking for tomatos to throw. It was prejudical behavior on his part and an abuse of his position in public office to pursue a personal agenda.

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EricBInVermont 8 years, 7 months ago

Hi again 379664. Well you threw me for a loop by not calling for executions. Since you say you're also opposed to jail time, I'll meet you halfway, and concede that one might substitute "dumb" for "lapse of judgment". I never asked him specifically why they didn't go elsewhere; when he gets out in six months, I surely will. But IIRC the stores were all closed, they're vegetarians (of course; they'd never eat a Happy Meal, free or otherwise), and the fruit was sitting right there on top of the trash... sure, it was dumb. A felony charge and six month jail sentence is a whole lot dumber.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, 379664 - you most certainly are entertaining. I'll give you that much.

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the_Lizard 8 years, 7 months ago

haha, That's true, nice story...they were bilingual... of course LOL

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mikesmith0330 8 years, 7 months ago

Although I no longer live in Routt County, I did for 20 years and let me say that this is very typical of Kerry St. James. He has always abused his office. Life in prison would be too good for this corrupt man. I really hope this goes national so maybe he will finally be brought to justice.

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babette dickson 8 years, 7 months ago

I cannot believe what is happening in our relax layback steamboat town. I join all of you in the outrage and really hope will make national news next week... Mrs S. Roesink should step up and discipline her own staff. That is also a boss responsibility! It is ashamed that these 2 young men ended in such a legal dead end. It is true that in this country if you are not loaded with dollars, justice is not served the same way, isn't it? Mrs Roesnik is endorsing our Democrat Governor to be: Bill Ritter... but this type of justice does not fit with a democrat's philosophy... so where do you really stands Mrs Roesnik? Where are your priorities in our sick justice sysytem? St James should definitively resigns, or Roesnik should show him where is the door. Finally all my support goes to Sweet Pea's owners. As a custumer I knew this incident was beyond your control and I thank you for your letter. I will sign the petition to help these guys out... By the way isn't it time for a REAL change this November... register and vote for a new governor, sherriff, DA (when it is time)... aren't you fed up with this country burried with conservatism, puritanism, evangelism, and so much more. SPEAK OUT and make it happen!

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the_Lizard 8 years, 7 months ago

excuse me... what does conservatism have to do with this problem?!?

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babette dickson 8 years, 7 months ago

let's put it this way: IF Mrs Roesnick and her staff had liberal / progressist ideas of justice... this case would be closed, dismissed, never existed. As someone said earlier about revolution; the French revolution in 1789 started on similar series of events : injustice.

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OneFly 8 years, 7 months ago

Ann, that post you just wrote has got to be one of the most stupidest things I've ever read but I am sure you have it in you to do even better.

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JW 8 years, 7 months ago

I am trying to figure out if St. James as a midget, or just a 12-year-old girl in disguise?

Yes St. James really likes to make examples of people. I wish some one would make an example of him.

Shave the little twit, roll him flour and drop him over Germany where he belongs.

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ArlineMcCarthy 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm Giles Charle's grandmother and altho' this is a first for me in my 83 years, I feel I should get in on this discussion and let you all know that Giles has been a fine grandson. He is a caring, honest and sincere young man who has much to offer to this world. Since much of this talk is centering around the question of why he was carrying traveler's checks and not finding a restaurant when he was hungry, I think I know the answer. Giles believes in recycling. He isn't too proud to wear "thrift store" clothes either. Now I must get busy and send him some cookies.

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theyelladawg 8 years, 7 months ago

This story is a prime example of why www.throwtherascalsout.us exists. We hope the voters remember this disgraceful incident at the polls. These kinds of bureaucrats are what's wrong with this country. We're SURE there must be more important crimes in their jurisdiction that are going uninvestigated and unprosecuted while they pursue utterly meritless matters such as these. SHAME on the prosecutors and SHAME on the voters who have failed to begin circulating RECALL petitions while this disgraceful situation has been going on and has been reported.

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woodlegal 8 years, 7 months ago

Obviously St. James' power has gone to his head. Why not a pardon from the governor? Then this whole farcical chapter would be over.

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wokkawokka 8 years, 7 months ago

I am an organic peach that the owners of Sweet Pea Produce threw out into the dumpster. They did it with love and with the hope that I would continue my journey from the orchard to nourish someone who needed me. I was fortunate to be found by Giles. He provided me a loving and warm home and allowed me to once again have hope to be wanted and loved and perhaps be in a pie that would make a child smile. The hob nailed boot wearing Gestapo of Steam Boat Springs got thier gun holsters in a twist and shattered the dream of this peach. For as long as I live I will never forget how the produce in SBS is denied their dream. I can only hope that a bird will eat me and then crap my pit on St. James- hopefully hitting him on his gavel swinging wrist and shatter it as he is shattering my dreams. Woe to you SBS! Woe to you and the regime of your shiece of pit town.

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johnmilford 8 years, 7 months ago

This is just the kind of story Bill O'Reilly loves to run with. If enough folks email him at oreilly@foxnews.com he may do a segment. He'll put the needed pressure on this dopey prosecutor. Email Bill at: oreilly@foxnews.com />

There's no need to over-elaborate, just include a link to the story.

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matilda 8 years, 7 months ago

It's to bad the young men did not have any help from the ACLU or attorneys willing to take it to trial. Even if convicted of a felony it could be appealled, in this case that would have been the only way to get the case heard fairly. Local attorneys who like living and working in the area are not likely to give much defense to a DA's pet case. The family should appeal to the Governor, tell them who these kids are and why they should not be in jail

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marvinlzinn 8 years, 7 months ago

Some police, lawyer, or judge must have defined their interpretation of the law and force it applied. But NO person of ANY position have a right or obligation to follow ANY law that makes such stupid results as this one! They could easily have ignored it if they had any sense in their own heads.

marvin

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Ialdoboath 8 years, 7 months ago

To "Ann" Coulter, regarding your views of Liberalism.The liberal approach to crime is not to dismiss it out of hand as you seem to believe. However, for there to BE a crime committed you have to show that there has been a trespass or injury to someone's person or property without their consent. Then, once established that a crime has been committed, the resolution of the crime should be done such that the situation is resolved and all parties involved are compensated and/or reformed. The typical conservative ethic in dealing with crime is one of punative justice... hurt the bastard as much as you can to teach him a lesson. This creates angrier, better criminals that will likely not get caught next time.
The liberal approach deals with people, and attempts to make a situation right, not just punish the criminal. Sometimes, as in the case of a child killer or some such thing, the punishment is life in prison. In most cases (like this one) the punishment SHOULD have been public service to the owner of the shop whose property was tresspassed on. I think the French Revolution comparison is apt. You sound very much like someone who would have been screaming for the more blood on the guillotine.

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intowner 8 years, 7 months ago

FYI: I have it on good authority that a recall petition IS in the works. Of course, this would only tangentially affect Mr. St. James because he is not elected. Maybe his boss will be proactive for a change and send him packing before she is recalled...

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AtlantaLawyer 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for publishing this article. I will call St. James and the DA. Talk about a victimless crime! Dangerous people doing dangerous acts are punished less severely every day.

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mgkrebsii 8 years, 7 months ago

David's analysis is good. However, it ignores that the garbage, though abandoned by store owners, once in the trash can is the property of the garbage company. There's a U.S. supreme court decision on point. What value did the garbage have for the garbage company? (Maybe they were going to sell it to a pig farmer, like is done in Las Vegas.)

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twobtuse 8 years, 7 months ago

Under the heading of "You ain't gonna believe this sh*t" Check out this story. Seems as if the high and mighty Mr. St. James has a past that's even better then this case. http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/8819/jennyarticle.html The man should not be a lawyer ( and wouldn't in many states) let alone a prosecuter. Damn!

Mental note, Never, ever ever go to SteamBoat Springs again.

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 7 months ago

More blood on the guillotine? Nah...

Let them eat cake!

At least that what I keep saying.

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe all of this hullaballoo will HELP tourism.

Potential tourists might think that it is very SAFE here, what with this zero tolerance for trespasses and small crimes. Maybe all of this press will attract a different tourist demographic to Steamboat Springs than what we have seen over the past several years.

The Chamber should be busy using this press to market your town to cowering crime fearing Florida retirees. This will be a huge marketing success. The new flock of tourists will spend lots of money and leave little impact. They might even decide to buy third homes here, thus creating wealth in the real estate industry.

Ah Nevermind.... I hear the lynch mob right now heading up to my perch to hang me for creating the sacastic characature that is Angelina Jelly on this forum.

A sense of humour goes a long way. Yours truly, the girl with the most cake, Mme Antoinette

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andreamn 8 years, 7 months ago

This is so absurd. As a out of towner looking in I have to wonder do you all have shoot outs (liberals-vs-conservatives) at highnoon everyday? I am so sick of the middle school mentality in this country when it comes to politics. I have no respect for our judicial system, period. As far as I am concerned there are two sets of laws in this country one for the rich (such as the Kennedy clan) and one for the rest of us poor slobs, wake up people and smell the roses. As far as the politics, both parties are in shambles, BOTH! Clinton was a disgrace and made America a laughing joke ( why DO THEY WORLD WIDE CALL HIM THE PAPER TIGER???), and Bush has alienated most of our friends. Yea they had BIll CLinton images in their parades in Europe, but IT WAS FOR JOKE VALUE,,holy cow, how hard is that to understand? HIS image was always in some perverted sex act. NO respect there. Yea most of the world thinks Americans are dense, and no wonder. And for all you people spewing against conservatives, people you lump as Christians,,ywhy the hate, aren't you part of the compassionate understanding, loving party? Get over yourselves! Why the hate, my friends who are of the Muslim faith do not understand how one can spew so much venom against the faith that is part of this nations past, your venom to them is pure evil. I have to agree. Until we can rationally sit with each other and discuss the problems of this nation we will only do an injustice to our children, it is time for people to be kind to their neighbors, and try to understand their neighbors instead of instantly hating them for their faith, party and orientation.

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Just_Ignore_379664 8 years, 7 months ago

379664 (who calls herself Anne Coltier): Please just ignore her. She's only one poster, yet the amount of her posts make it seem like there is some kind of consenus for her view points. DON'T give her the time of day and she will eventually stop. She insults these guys and calls them idiots...yet she says she believes the penalty was unfair. Duh??? This doesn't seem exceptionally intelligent if she really wants to support justice...as the posters here aren't disputing that trespassing wasn't right. Community service was suggested. Ever been to jail? Even a few days in a cell with guys that have "white power" or something or other cigertte burned into their flesh would have you know six months is EXTRAORDINARILY DRACONIAN for stealing a rotten tomato from a garbage can.

wokkawokka: Important words of wisdom to a culture haplessly force fed a so called "American Dream" by rich profiteers. Under such a sedative, our programming has us so easily forget about compassion and the love, which are the real dream to those of us so lucky to have awaken to it. You've hit the peach pit on the head, except I think you're having it hit a little hard! Instead of eye for an eye, let's hope that it hits hard enough to knock some sense into these guys, or more likely get their arses out!

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pilot 8 years, 7 months ago

With garbage in and garbage out and DA's like St. James, Bin Laden doesn't even have to attack again. He wins by default.

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AJohn 8 years, 7 months ago

Email sent to the DA (copy to Bill OReilly):

TO: Bonnie Smith Roesink, District Attorney for Routt County, State of Colorado

Free the Sweet Pea Two!

Justice served? Shame on you.

Perhaps you should review "The Alice's Restaurant Massacre" by Arlo Guthrie. I'm sure you and Mr St James aren't old enough to remember it.

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babette dickson 8 years, 7 months ago

how do you explain this Steamboat DA / ADA office punishes these young men with jail time when years ago a man charged with family abuse - once upon a time i was married... - was never sentenced with jail time after being charged with kidnaping, eluding police in high speed chase, damage property, restraining order and I miss some other good ones... The answer is we are white people, he could afford a GOOD lawyer, he paid over $3,000 in fine, did some hours of community service. And he's not affiliated with rainbow type of group- at least from "outside"... And never spent more than 2 nights in the holding cell. Where is the rational of the system? I have no clue. So yes for the recall, yes for the big cleaning and hoping that liberals and progressists will apply the law with more common sense. Thanks laldoboath for explaining. Andeamn, you're wrong, they loved bill clinton in europe and around the world... and still do. Thet laughed at the Americans making such a big deal because he "smoked a cigar" with monica, even if he lied first about it. overseas, they don't care about this kind of stuff and what you do with you arses!. But they will shake their head on this one and will certainly think that the US is on the verge of being a fascist / police state. That does worry me a lot.

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ryoung 8 years, 7 months ago

This is an example of government over stepping their bounds. The government was not wronged but Sweet Pea Produce. If SPP did not want Giles Charle & David Siller to go to trail then they should of be able to stop it. The judge should of asked the owners of SPP what they wanted, not the doofus Assistant District Attorney.

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spaktor 8 years, 7 months ago

Felix:

I agree with your assessment that if the DA was a liberal - this case would never have come about. After all, when the Clinton Government went to bust Randy Weaver for possession of a sawed-off shotgun they only shot his unarmed wife in the throat while she was holding a baby, his ten year old son in the back while he was running away, and the family dog. Let the punishment fit the crime, right?

But don't get me wrong - I think this DA and Herr St. James are a pair of jackasses. It just annoys me when a person suggests that political bent has anything to do with government abuse of power - Their politics are our distraction! We need to watch them all like hawks!

May these two men get the freedom they deserve - and long live the rainbow! (When I used to kick around that crowd - they were always good at coming up with bail money etcetera...where are their voices?)

Spaktor...OUT!

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KEGMAN 8 years, 7 months ago

IF IM NOT MISTAKEN...THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RULED SEVERAL YEARS AGO THAT ANYTHING YOU PUT OUT AS GARBAGE IS NO LONGER THE PROPERTY OF THE PERSON THAT PUT IT OUT BUT WAS FREE TO THE PASSER BY.... AND THE CHARGES WERE DROPPED AGAINST THAT PERSON.......

SO THAT MEANS TO ME THAT NOT ONLY ARE THE STEAMBOAT COPS STUPID...,THE DA IS STUPID AND THE JUDGE SHOULD BE WORKING AT BURGER KING.... NO OFFENSE TO BURGER KING....

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excop 8 years, 7 months ago

Why are most problems in life caused by just a small percentage of the population? Thats an easy question. Its because most folks are DECENT. This Kerry character doesnt from what I've read on this page seem decent at all or to have much character either. Of course his or is it her boss,this kerry character,appears to have even less as she seems to appear to support this injustice and I have already sent her my e-mail adding just another brick in the wall of protest hoping that enough bricks will change their behaviour in the future and start listening to their bosses , the voters . I know this does'nt pertain to this present situation but I want to ask you all if you're not already aware of the Fully Informed Jury Association fija.org that you as an honest and DECENT law abiding tax paying citizen can make ahuge difference when you are called to jury duty with cases like this one if it went to trial. Youare under no obligation to follow the judges instructions if you feel the law is improper or the sentence is to harsh for the offense etc. " The highest and best function of the jury is to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical prosecutions and bad laws imposed by power hungry government." fija.org Please go to their website and learn you are not a powerless serf or peon.

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poopdeckpappy 8 years, 7 months ago

As long as there is no ass-raping or the mental equivalent thereof (I've never been to prison), 3 squares a day, cleans clothes and a roof for 6 months cannot but help. If the system is strong enough, give a structureless person a few non-negotiable conformities and perhaps he/she does not have to look for food in a trash can again.

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jasonbates 8 years, 7 months ago

maybe the public will make an example of the DA ?

Maybe the DA will be punished as severely for trivial things as he punishes others?

Maybe thousands of rainbow gatherers could hang out in Steamboat now ?

Its a free country....

deeper issues in this story are generation and gender:

Maybe 80 million boomers will retire one day and .jin X. can move past riding skateboards? Skateboarding is not a crime! FASbirthing is not a crime either, but causes permanent damage to 1 in 100 Americans. The perpetrators are not held accountable, the victims are : 40 in every 100 prisoners have FAS. Don't misunderstand.

I really wonder what the afterlife holds, accountability-wise.

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excgchief 8 years, 7 months ago

Me thinks that the local cops from this hick town will be in big doo doo if they are ever caught sifting through someone's garbage looking for evidence. The way I understand it, the police can sift through people's garbage without any warrant because the trash is considered no one property anymore. What Mr. St James has done now is that if I lived in that town and caught the cops going through my garbage on my property without a warrant, then I should be able to have them arrest themselves and I would expect Mr. St James to give them the same deal he gave those two boys. The worst those to kids did was trespass on private property which at least in the rest of the country is a misdemenor punishable by a small fine and/or community service. I think St James has higher asperations than mere ADA. I think he's after his boss's job. Today Steamboat whatever, tomorrow the WORLD.....

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foxtrot 8 years, 7 months ago

Now,sorry for Sweet Peas...as this story unfolds, they will be cited for creating an attractive nuisance !

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broruss 8 years, 7 months ago

Folks, these kind of ridiculous abuses and misuses of power on the part of police and prosecutors are a nationwide epidemic. We are right on the edge of living in a police state. Some say we are already there. I am surprised this jarhead St. James didn't use the war on terror as a pretext... heck, he could have said these poor guys were planning to use the spoiled fruit to make a bomb, and sent them up on enemy combatant charges, so they could be held indefinitely without legal representation. Educate yourselves at www.prisonplanet.com and www.infowars.com

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theonlyone 8 years, 7 months ago

Its all the __'s fault (fill it in, Jews, Arabs, Conservatives, Liberals etc..)... Strip down all your pre-conceived notions and realize that these boys did nothing wrong. They were taking some food that was being thrown away. Even the store owner does not care. Anyone who thinks they deserve to be locked up is arrogant, plain and simple. Step into their shoes for a second and try and see things outside of your right wing know it all conservative views. Luckily, most people on here seem to have compassion (whoa, whats that! Com-pash-ion.. rinky-dinky-do! Is that not some strange far east Buddhism mumbo jumbo)... If you sense sarcasm then you understand.. who else is sick of the citizens of the western world representing themselves as the bovine that they are.. moo cows, follow the heard.. ok, you can flame away now.

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rollleft 8 years, 7 months ago

So lets make sure I've got this straight. In 1998 after a multiyear molestation the police chief gets off.

In 2006 2 trespassing recyclers get 6 months.

Surely this is national news. And there must have been lots of further injustice inbetween.

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excgchief 8 years, 7 months ago

I took a gander on a map to find out where Steamboat Springs was located. Now I fully understand why this dork of an ADA did what he did. We have landfills larger than this town. He was bored. But to be fair to Mr. St James, the judge must a case to. I can't belive any judge worth his salt would have permitted jail time for this petty stuff. Ok, you want to punish someone for trespassing? That's cool. But taking something that has no value that not even the store owner was willing to press charges for. Seems to me a bit of a reach here. If I were the judge, I would have not accepted that stupid plea deal. Instead I would have dismissed the garbage dive charge and just hit them with trespassing. They did climb over a fense in order to get to the dumpster. I would have ordered a small fine and maybe 15 minutes of community service. The town is so damn small, you could probably clean it up in 10.... I'd have to give them an additional 30 minutes more for a lunch break....

I hope that the voters know that thanks to St. James, he's made you guys a laughing stock of the nation. Hell, I hear they're rolling in the aisles in the United Kingdom.... Ya this story got all the way over the big pond.

One question for you guys in Steamboat Willie Springs, is this dude up for re-election soon. Like real soon? I would seriously consider dumping him along with the dork judge who went along with it....

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ben7 8 years, 7 months ago

David, You could stake out a place in heaven for yourself if you would file an amicus (friend of the court) brief on this case. Your legal reasoning is impeccible. This doesn't have to be the end of it. When I was in (minor) trouble as a younger man, I went and talked to the prosecutors before the court appearance.
They will meet with a defendent. This may not work for predatory violators, but in the case of a victimless "crime" such as this one, it can work wonders. Apparently too late for that now, but isn't amicus an option?

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Skier 8 years, 7 months ago

Just boycott Steamboat Springs until the local government or the voters rectify the situation. I skiied Steamboat Springs 3 of the last 4 seasons. Each time I put several thousand dollars into the local economy. With this sort of negative publicity and the resulting backlash, Steamboat locals will have an incentive to change their elected officials... especially when yuppies like me opt to spend their vacations in more tolerant places.

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SomeoneinCT 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad AJohn mentioned "The Alice's Restaurant Massacre" , because while reading about this injustice, Arlo's song came to mind. I'm not old enough to remember all that happened in that era, but I was alive when it happened and I do hear the song every Thanksgiving.

Let's be real, the actual crime that was commited was trespassing. Don't even mention the stolen property, since it was abandoned as garbage.

Six months for trespass seems a bit severe when there are other crimes that need attention. Maybe fishing without a license will get you a year ?

Maybe Arlo will write the "Sweet Pea Produce Massacre" to wake the country up about this absurd sentence. It's already linked on the Drudge Report, so who knows where this story will go.

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Cyberdish 8 years, 7 months ago

KERRY ST JAMES YOU NEED TO ADMIT YOU MADE A MISTAKE, SAY YOU'RE SORRY AND REFUND THE COUNTY TAXPAYERS WHATEVER THEY'VE PAID TO HOUSE THOSE TWO GENTLEMEN IN JAIL. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I LIVE IN CANADA AND IT TOOK ME 20 MINUTES JUST TO REGISTER SO I COULD HAVE THE CHANCE TO TELL YOU YOUR AN IDIOT. WERE YOU APPOINTED? IS YOUR FATHER A JUDGE? I MEAN HOW ON EARTH DID YOU GET YOUR JOB? WHAT PART OF YOUR BRAIN WERE YOU ACCESSING THAT TOLD YOU ARRESTING AND JAILING TWO HUMAN BEINGS FOR EATING DISCARDED PRODUCE FROM THE GARBAGE WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO? GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE MAN!! LORD HAVE MERCY!! YOU SHOULD BE FIRED FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION!! UNLESS I'M MISSING SOMETHING AND THIS WHOLE THING IS A JOKE I CAN'T IMAGINE HOW YOU CAN POSSIBLY SHOW YOUR FACE TO THE PEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON YOU TO KEEP YOUR TOWN SAFE FROM CRIME!! IF I KNEW WHAT YOU LOOKED LIKE AND I SAW YOU COMING I'D DO MY BEST NOT TO LAUGH BUT BELIEVE ME, IT WOULD BE NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE!! ARE YOU SERIOUS? IS THIS SOME KIND OF INSIDE JOKE? I CERTAINLY HOPE SO!! CYRUS IN TORONTO.

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formerskieratsteamboat 8 years, 7 months ago

I am from Chicago and just recently (January 06) enjoyed a wonderful as well as expensive (yes, I footed the full bill) ski vacation with my large extended family in Steamboat and was planning to return this Winter. If what I am reading about this case continues to stand, I will not return. I advise others to take a stand and remind the good people of Steamboat that issues such as this resonate with the whole country. I beg the powers-that-be in Steamboat, fix this very bad issue so that I can feel good about spending insane amounts of money in your community.

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mrnemo 8 years, 7 months ago

From here in Florida, the view is that there is much more going on in Steamboat Springs than meets the eye. Nevertheless, your town and many of the fine intelligent people in it (from the many good emails) will be the net losers in this affair. This seems like a case of gross overkill by over-zealous opportunists that have put you all up for scorn and ridicule. Steamboat Springs sounds like a very nice place, but one best avoided if you're not one of the "good ol' boys." Too bad many tourists will first hear of your town in this deplorable context. Git er fixed, quickly. Augie

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Martel 8 years, 7 months ago

Steam Boat Springs has not become a no-crime bastion of peace and civility by accident.

The menace presented by people who would trespass to dig food out of a dumpster is well known. The torment they thrust on society is simply unacceptable. If you do not stop this type behavior now, these thugs will extend their mischief to who knows what--- indiscriminate jay-walking, double parking, letting their dogs run off the leash, playing their music too loudly, riding motorcycles without a helmet ?

Thank goodness for St. James and the cops. It is level-headed government appointees/bureaucrats like them that give me the warm feeling that dollars seized from the taxpayers of Steamboat Springs for law enforcement purposes are being wasted in the best way possible. I for one do not want to see a taxpayer funded jail cell go to waste.

St. James clearly understands that if community service will accomplish the task of punishing a wrong doer, then some serious jail time will punish it even better--PLUS, it gives him a chance to show how much muscle he has available to squash citizenry that dare cross the misdemeanor line. It also better insures that our already over crowded jail facilities are being utilized in the best way possible.

...and to think that there are sensible people out there who actually think the war-on-drugs is the biggest waste of taxpayer funded law enforcement effort.

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Seanfeld 8 years, 7 months ago

Wow! I have to say this DA is an evil man someday he will get what is coming to him for this injustice. I don't know who you people are that think this is reasonable. This is the internet so I assume people are just being provocative for the hell of it. You'd be singin a different tune if it was your friend or relative.

I can't understand how you could take a plea like this in this case. I understand the possiblity of having a felony on your record is scary but I have to say sometimes you gotta stand up for what's right. When something like this happens it's not just your freedom that is being taken but all Americans. Then again I guess I couldn't trust a jury that was made up of people that allowed these goons to be in power in the first place. I wish I could go to this town to protest this act but I guess I am glad I live nowhere near this place. I will be really disappointed in the people of Colorado if something is not done about this. Now I know why South Park is set in Colorado. I will be amazed if this doesn't end up on there.

I also think that those who think this is a travesty should contact the governor of Colorade governorowens@state.co.us Ultimately he is responsible for the enforcement of law in his state and if he has to pardon these two to get them out of this then he should do that.

I'll be watching this story and I'll be praying there is a happy ending to it.

F_ck St. James and all his enablers. Although I have faith that this will not stand I know St. James will not pay for this crime.

I honestly still cannot believe that a human being could be so hateful that they would want to see two men in jail for eating fruit that was thrown in the garbage.

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Kenndeaux 8 years, 7 months ago

It sounds like Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James is trying to make a name for himself. Too bad is will now always be connected with "GIANT A--HOLE Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James".

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Pangloss 8 years, 7 months ago

Justice is blind, as it is supposed to be, and should be. Regardless of who a person is, where they come from, what their background is; if that person commits a crime they are eligible to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To avoid this, you do not have to be paranoid, just obey the laws, which includes omitting violations in your actions.

If these guys were not of the background portrayed, if they were sleezy, three-time losers, the majority of comments entered would be much different.

The law is to be fair and equal to everyone. If these guys had been taught respect for the law, they might not have broken it. There are not supposed to be privledged classes in the USA. Life is tough, gotta work at it, no free rides promised. Our justice is blind for a good reason.

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WobelyJones 8 years, 7 months ago

Ha-Ha two loosers going to jail for eatin rottin fruit. Talk bout crazy stories today. Overkill, yeah; somewhat funny, ditto. Oh well, hope they can laugh too in about seven months.

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hkinsey3 8 years, 7 months ago

Choices? Choices? Sure they were given choices. It's like asking someone if they would rather be shot or hung. 6 months jail time for trespassing is way out of line unless they are habitual criminals or have previous convictions for the same or a similar crime. Tell us ms DA just how long is their rap sheet? When I read the blurb "Men arrested for stealing food from trash" my first thought was it happened in China or North Korea where human rights are non-existent. But noooooooo it happened in my own backyard. You people make us all look silly.

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hkinsey3 8 years, 7 months ago

I can see it now. In his next tape Osama will be telling the world that America jails people for taking food from the trash. And he'll be telling the truth. Is it even possible to steal something that is being thrown away?

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Seanfeld 8 years, 7 months ago

Pangloss: You are an idiot. What you are saying has nothing to do with this case. If anything it's the opposite, from what it sounds like from the people that live in this town people who are in the know get off scott free while these two get 6 months in jail for taking something out of the garbage. So how is that blind justice. What about all those people in Hollywood who get off with community service for DUI, drugs, assault, etc? The US already has the second highest per capita prison population in the world behind only Russia. Do we really need more people in prison for f_cking nothing in the supposedly home of the free?

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WobelyJones 8 years, 7 months ago

Actually that is not true. 80% of the inmates in Cal. are illegal immigrants who have raped, murdered, stole (probably not rotten fruit though), and various other SERIOUS crimes. They are in prison but are not counted amongst the US population because the census does not know they are here. That stat of us being the second highest per capita in prison pop. is flawed completely.

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hkinsey3 8 years, 7 months ago

Welcome to Steamboat Springs. Our trash cans have video surveillance. Warning, we prosecute dumpster divers to the full extent of the law. Inordinate sentences dispensed with glee. WE HAVE THE POWER. Have a nice stay :-)

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WobelyJones 8 years, 7 months ago

I will admit one thing, that prosecuter up there must be mighty bored. A simple fine would have sufficed. They did tresspass. But jail time, that takes too much effort to be socially worth while.

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mrnemo 8 years, 7 months ago

For three years, the young attorney had been taking his brief vacations at a country inn. The last time there, he'd finally managed an affair with the innkeeper's daughter. Again looking forward to an exciting few days, he dragged his suitcase up the stairs of the inn, and then stopped short.

There sat his lover with an infant on her lap! "Helen, why didn't you write when you learned you were pregnant?" he cried. "I would have rushed up here, We could have gotten married, and the baby would have my name!"

"Well," she said, "when my folks found out about my condition, we sat up all night talkin' and talkin' and decided it would be better to have a bastard in the family than a lawyer."

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MacInRochester 8 years, 7 months ago

The two were wrong to jump a fence of a business after hours. The neighbors did the right thing calling police. They had no idea what their intent was. It's not at all like taking trash left out at the curb. The fruit market is in business to make a living - it is not a charity for these two to get free stuff. They need to show a little respect to the owners by paying for their goods instead of being so cheap. I know of a similar business family who decided to spray kerosene on all their throw-aways. They said if it were poor people doing it they wouldn't, but it was people with new Buicks and Lexus grubbing in their trash. That said the authorities are wrong in their harsh response. They are prosecuting for who the men are not for what they did. If the local community doesn't correct the matter next election then the same is their's.

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Seanfeld 8 years, 7 months ago

WJ: I don't know 80% sounds like a stretch to me. I'm not from Cali though. However assuming that there are 30 million illegals in America which from what I understand would be an overstatement the US would still have the second highest per capita prison population. The point is we have enough rapists and murderers in prison that we don't need to be putting people who "steal" fruit from the garbage in prison for 6 months. There are only so many resources to go around and smart decisions need to be made. Fund troops in Iraq? Rebuild New Orleans? or put people in jail for eating garbage?

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

Ok, what part of an OVERREACH of authority do some people NOT understand? Yes, these men trespassed. Yes, these men took something off private property that did not belong to them. Yes, anything in trash cans on private property is STILL private property.

That said, AGREEING to a barbaric lesser of two evils of punishment and stating they therefore validated the decision is ASSININE:

"Let's see, do you want the firing squad or the guillotine?"

"Guillotine your honor."

"See, they chose the guillotine so they ASKED to have their heads cut off!!"

What a JACKASS comment! Judges have discrepancy in their sentencing. Small town DAs are all gung-ho and looking to make a name for themselves because they aren't busy enough, so I rate them above cockroaches but still below rats.

I live in Atlanta, and we have tens of thousands of skiers/boarders and dozens of clubs. We travel all over the nation and around the world in annual and bi-annual trips, many times to Colorado, including Steamboat. That said, hopefully we will be involved with organizing a boycott of Steamboat for this winter's trips from the Metro Atlanta area if this decision is not reversed. I want NO part of my money going to a Caesar-like locale.

I don't agree with the Rainbow Family disorganization or what they stand for, and I'm sure the affiliation of these two men to that organization didn't help their causes, but this is not freaking Iraq under Saddam! This story is straight out of a flick where some tourist gets the shaft from a small-town gung-ho DA and judge. Even if this ruling is reversed, my family and I will never step foot in Steamboat Springs ever again.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Wow #s - Thanks for finally stating your position in a way that doesn't offend everyone and makes total sense.

Looks like I missed some good discussion yesterday and this morning. I got bored with it when the only discussion was your dog eating your shoes.

By the way, why would she want to eat shoes that have been on your feet when she could have taken a few steps to the kitchen and eaten some gourmet kibbles? Is she a ding-a-ling?

Just kidding - TRUCE!

And your last statement in the above post is absolutely correct. It's the people of the town of Steamboat Springs that will pay the price, and that's a shame.

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William 8 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like Stallone's "First Blood" redux. "Get out of here hippie, we don't need your kind stinking up our nice quiet little town of bigots."

What an embarassment.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Bsmith -

"I don't agree with the Rainbow Family disorganization or what they stand for, and I'm sure the affiliation of these two men to that organization didn't help their causes..."

To say that their affiliation with the Rainbow Family didn't help their causes is an understatement.

The reason this even went to the point of prosecuting is BECAUSE they are members of the Rainbow Family.

The DA even stated, according to the "victim" of the trespass that he was not going to let the RF take over their nice town and he was going to make an example of these 2 guys.

That, in my opinion, constitutes a "hate crime".

He set out to harm these 2 men (do damage to their lives/future) BECAUSE they are members of a group he detests. The reason it might see okay to some is that he was wearing a suit and tie instead of a white robe and hood, and carried a brief case instead of a burning cross.

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patrick_henry 8 years, 7 months ago

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! Two hippies get busted for trespassing within a fenced in area, get caught dumpster diving, and are given a choice between a felony conviction and 6 month's jail time? I'd reccomend a shower and a fresh change of clothes. That would have been more punishment than anything else.

Where's the burglary? No entry made into a building or dwelling. Where's the theft? There's nothing being taken that wasn't in the garbage already. What property damage was there? What property damage was there to any of the real or personal property on the site? NO vandalism occured, right? Was there any resiting arrest? I didn't see any mention of it. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn't?

This is pretty pathetic. I have been doing police work for years, and you will see punk-@$$ lawyers get oh-so-tough on cases like this, but will only work to get a multiple homicide suspect 1 year in prison and claim it is a good thing, becuase it is a "conviction." After all, he could have been found "not guilty." Sort of like the of the oh-so-brave assistant prosecutor who would gladly drop the Assault and Battery with Intent to Kill charges against the man who used his one year old son as a human sheield and held a knife to his throat if he promised to move back to Tennessee from South Carolina. This guy was taken into custody with no one getting hurt or killed, only to be relased by this dolt in order to clear her case load and make a name for herself. Oh, he did the same thing two weeks later after his release, and caused people to go to the hospital.

Well, this is what you can expect with our larval lawyers' graduation from law school. The whole Modernistic approach to humanity and law is Relativistic in origin, where human life has no worth, and freedom is not God-given, but the accidental noblesse-oblige of a politician.

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HairyJane 8 years, 7 months ago

Duh, wutz guuud for duh dumpster diverz should be better 4 duh D.A.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

outoftowner-

"The reason this even went to the point of prosecuting is BECAUSE they are members of the Rainbow Family."

"That, in my opinion, constitutes a "hate crime"."

I already knew as much, and that judge is a poor judge and using personal biases in handing down sentences. That is TOTALLY against everything judges STAND for! He needs to be removed from power by the state of Colorado.

That said, I don't see what "hate" has to do with anything here. Just because you disagree with someone or their ideology doesn't mean you "hate" them. My major problem is an overreach of authority as previously stated as well as inflicting personal biases in a judgement. Is this the first time in history a judge has used personal bias in a judgement? Of course not. Judges like these just need to be rooted out in public news stories like these and stripped of authority. If there is no public outcry from Steamboat Springs, I know my future boycott wil be validated.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

Patrick_Henry-

"Where's the burglary? No entry made into a building or dwelling. Where's the theft? There's nothing being taken that wasn't in the garbage already."

Your answer is right in the column:

"The men admitted that they jumped a fence and took fruits and vegetables from the garbage area at Sweet Pea."

As I stated in my very first post, it WAS private property. Hence, TRESSPASSING. Whether or not it was garbage is NOT the issue. Anything in your garbage on YOUR property is STILL your property. Hence, THEFT.

What, do you think you can legally walk on my lawn, which is not a building or dwelling, and steal my tomatoes sitting on a table for ripening? Do you think you can come on to MY property legally and sift through MY trash legally which is still MY property which is not in a building or dwelling but merely next to my garage? What the hell kind of free-for-all world do you live in?

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

379664:

"That's the law. It's black and white. It is the responsibility of the D.A. and the Judges to administer the law and its subsequent punishment."

That's exactly right. How often does a judge extend to the FULLEST extent of the law the FULLEST punishment? In non-felon cases like misdemeanors specifically, RARELY, and that included DUIs and tresspassing.

"But, it was also the Defendants' attorneys who took the plea."

Oh, like they had a CHOICE or something? What was the other choice, a lifetime FELONY record charge? Please. Just like I said in my first post, this argument is weak. That's like saying someone chooses between the firing squad and the guillotine, and they choose the guillotine, then they chose their own fate by having their heads chopped off and it should be accepted as their acceptance of the sentence. That's LUDICROUS!

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patrick_henry 8 years, 7 months ago

"Anything in your garbage on YOUR property is STILL your property."

Not according to the US Supreme Court and various state supreme courts. That is how I have personally collected criminal evidence. If you wanted to retain ownership, why did you throw it out? Was the trash can in a common collection area, the curb, or hidden way back in an area that one had to obviously go inside of a building to get?

My point: LET THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME.

As I wrote also...but you obviously didn't read because of all of the hormones racing through your system...was that they trespassed inside an enclosed area. These questions that I wrote also were rhetorical. Some people are capable of writing and communicating in more but the most basic of terms, such as: "Sun is hot." "Food is good."

As for going upon your property and stealing ripening tomatoes, there is one heack of a big difference between theft and taking refuse placed in a trash can. At least I hope that you can discern the subtle differences.

As for Colorado statutes, I admit that I am not intimately familiar with Colorado state law, but the laws of the states where I enforced them were based upon English Common Law and State Statutes. You know, England? The racist rich white guys responsible for things like the Magna Carta, philospohers like John Locke, and the King James Bible? No small potatoes, but ones people won't steal from a table. It will just be taken from the miscarrage of justice becuase of a poor grasp of freedom, and a gutless people willing to trade their freedom for security.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

The question here isn't whether or not they trespassed or whether or not they took discarded fruits and vegetables out of a garbage can on private property. That has already been established. It has already been established that they, their family and friends, and just about everyone who has posted a message on this board believes that it was not a very smart thing to do. Ok, so that's established.

Damages: The owner of the discard fruits and vegetables basically said "No harm, no foul. I'm not interested in prosecuting." Essentially, no damage done.

The DA's office says, well, there WAS a crime and it WAS reported, so now we have to follow up, regardless...

At issue here is 'does the punishment fit the crime' and it appears that an overwhelming majority here (98% -??) say, no, the punishment does not fit the crime.

So the issue becomes "why" -

If some rich kids with ski lift tickets and a passkey to their Dad's suite at a local resort made the same error of stepping over the rope to look in the trash from some discarded tomatoes to throw at each other, the same neighbor called the police, blah blah blah blah, and eventually the owner of the discarded tomatoes said "No harm, no foul" -- what would have happened to the kids looking for tomatoes? At worst, they would have been cited for a petty misdemeanor, told to apologize to Sweet Peas in writing and told to mind their manners when they come to Steamboat next year. And maybe Daddy would have taken the keys to the Hummer for a month as a little additional slap on the wrist.

That's what I haven't seen the answer to, other than "Sometimes life isn't fair" - what is it about the ACTIONS of these 2 guys that made this 'crime' worth more than a slap on the wrist?

Cite code and legalese all you want. That has all been established already. I want to hear from the DA's office what it is that we don't know about this situation that caused this to be more of a crime than it appears to be. Either something beside the RF campground STINKS in Steamboat Springs or there's something we don't know.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

"First degree burglary occurs when a person "knowingly enters unlawfully, or remains unlawfully after a lawful or unlawful entry, in a building or occupied structure with intent to commit therein a crime ...[and] the person ... assaults or menaces any person, or ... is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon." Section 18-4-202(1), C.R.S. 2004."

I'd hardly consider an open-air market closed afterhours as a "building or occupied structure," let alone these two obviously liberal hippies "assaulting or menacing" anybody. Too bad some hotshot Denver attorney didn't volunteer to rip the jerkoff DA and ADA a new one.

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Reality 8 years, 7 months ago

It is easy to determine the intelligence of this situation when you follow the money. It was posted earlier that it will cost Steam Boat $47 per day for each of these gentleman to sit in jail. That will be a cost to Steam Boat of $16,920. If the ADA can't be trusted with small things, he should never be trusted with a judge seat. NO ONE SHOULD VISIT STEAM BOAT UNTIL THESE GENTLMEN HAVE COMPLETED THEIR SENTENCE. What will this cost the town?

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

Patrick Henry:

["Anything in your garbage on YOUR property is STILL your property."]

"Not according to the US Supreme Court and various state supreme courts. That is how I have personally collected criminal evidence. If you wanted to retain ownership, why did you throw it out?"

I challenge you RIGHT NOW to cite me a law or case where someone's garbage on THEIR property was deemed as public property. Just one!

"My point: LET THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME."

I agree completely. I'd be ALL FOR punishing a murderer in the EXACT SAME WAY that his victim died. But nobody got murdered here, so let's disregard that. With our state and local liberal judges and revolving door criminality where the criminals are just "victims of society," I suppose it's easy to see where a few vigilante extreme-right wing judges and DAs knee-jerk their way into the system in retaliation for the "injustice."

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

Patrick Henry:

You still haven't addressed my case here:

Do you think you can come on to MY property legally and sift through MY trash legally which is still MY property which is not in a building or dwelling but merely next to MY garage on MY property?

I eagerly await your response on how you validate what I choose to discard that's still on MY property as public domain.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Reality -

At 8:30 yesterday morning, a family member of one of these guys posted a brief summary of their court appearance. The DA suggested that in addition to doing 6 months in jail, they should be ordered to reimburse Steamboat Springs for the cost of their incarceration. AT LEAST THE DUMB JUDGE WHO DIDN'T THROW ST JAMES OUT ON HIS BUTT HAD THE DECENCEY TO DECLINE TO ORDER THEM TO PAY FOR BEING ABUSED BY THE D.A.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Now, I'm sorry for the people of Steamboat Springs who have to pick up the tab - I think a lot of the posters here are locals, and most of you seem like decent people.

I'm just glad the judge didn't carry the over-kill any further.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

379664:

You can attempt to psuedo-insult all you want. It makes no difference to me.

"Obviously Sweet Pea is in the same spot, day after day, paying some type of property tax on the spot they occupy."

So, would you consider a picnic table selling fruit on private property as a "structure" too? Would you consider a rusted out car on a lawn day in and day out on private property as a "structure" too? Who the hell knew a "structure" was defined as something that stays put day in and day out? So, if there's a fence and I hop over it, although I don't enter the shed, I'm still validated in taking whatever I want that's in the garbage NEXT to the shed? Thanks for the enlightenment! Man, if you practice law or are involved with it any way, I'm sure your opponents have some real fun pawing you around, and I have nothing to do with law.

"Whether or not you consider it occupied is irrelevant."

The hell it isn't! Exacty what part of this can you not read:

"First degree burglary occurs when a person "knowingly enters unlawfully, or remains unlawfully after a lawful or unlawful entry, in a building or occupied structure with intent to commit therein a crime ...[and] the person ... assaults or menaces any person, or ... is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon." Section 18-4-202(1), C.R.S. 2004."

Here it is again in case you missed it the second time:

"...in a building or occupied structure with intent to commit therein a crime ...[and] the person ... assaults or menaces any person, or ... is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon."

NO building/occupied structure was entered, and NO persons were assualted.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Bsmith -

This is a very interesting debate! Let's ask it this way -

If your trash was going to be collected tomorrow morning, and tonight you put your bin out on your curb so the truck can collect it, and Patrick Henry is wandering your neighborhood, see's this morning's newspaper in your trash and steps onto your property and takes your newspaper out of your garbage can...

What do you think should happen to him?

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

outoftowner:

"If your trash was going to be collected tomorrow morning, and tonight you put your bin out on your curb so the truck can collect it,"

That's technical foul #1. Curbsides in neighborhoods are on the "right of way" which means that they are local government owned, not private property persay. This right of way can vary between one and three or so inland towards your property, depending on where you live. There was a REASON why I specifcally referenced garbage being in a can on my property next to my garage. These men JUMPED a fence. That's a fact. The dumpster was NOT on public property or in an alley.

"..and Patrick Henry is wandering your neighborhood, see's this morning's newspaper in your trash and steps onto your property and takes your newspaper out of your garbage can... What do you think should happen to him?"

Since this example is a continuation of the fault in the argument as listed above, I'll play along anyway. Nothing should happen. I COULD press charges of tresspassing if he steps beyond the right-of-way, but I wouldn't. However, if he jumped my driveway fence and helped himself to my garbage, I'd have him arrested for tresspassing. THAT'S IT.

And that's all that these guys should have been charged with, EVEN THOUGH they most certainly trespassed on private property. I believe that the DA and judge overused their power, but I also believe that anyone who believes that these men didn't commit a crime of at least trespassing is clueless, as Patrick Henry did in disagreeing with my statement:

"Anything in your garbage on YOUR property is STILL your property." Kindly note that specifically doesn't reference CURBSIDE garbage.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Bsmith - ok, point taken.

Although I must admit this discussion is starting to sound like what probably transpired in the DA's office -

"Let's look at code and law and what we can possibly find to stick it to these guys with

and ignore common sense and the wishes of the "victim"."

Even if Patrick Henry stepped foot onto your property and blatantly trespassed to get your newspaper out of your garbage can, and let's assume for the sake of making #s happy that Patrick Henry had money in his pocket and could have bought his own newspaper but for whatever reason decided he'd rather take one out of the garbage, would you want your community to spend the money to incarcerate him for 6 months? Was your loss of a discarded newspaper and the violation you experienced of him walking on your property worth thousands of dollars to the tax payers? Even if he did walk right up to your front door and open your garbage can and was arrested, would you actually want him prosecuted to a degree that it cost your community that way?

That's my point - (and I know, cite law and Angelina's criminal vs civil blah blah - I KNOW that it is up to the DA to decide to prosecute or not in a criminal matter -) The owners said no, they did not want to prosecute. Not only did the DA disregard that, but then disgraced the entire city with his over-zealousness, and added financial injury to the city coffers and insult to the intelligence of everyone who reads the news.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

"So, let me ask you this? Since you interpret the code as you see it - does that mean that the dumpster was in the middle of the street? Where was the dumpster?"

When someone "jumps a fence" as was listed in the report, I'd assume said fence wasn't sheltering the border of Mexico.

"No, reasonable deduction shows that the dumpster was on the property of someone who pays local taxes for the spot, closes their doors at the end of a business day, etc."

Behind a fence means PRIVATE PROPERTY. The dumpster was BEHIND THE FENCE. That's why they had to JUMP IT. There was no alley, there was no curb, and there was no parking lot where this dumpster was located. Are you going to sit there and tell me this produce vendor built a fence on PUBLIC domain?

"Since you seem to be so magnangimous to people who snoop through another's garbage, please show us your true stripes and place a couple of visible credit card statements upon your garbage pail, on your property, and see how fun it is when you see the dumspter divers sporting a new car, courtesy of your tossed statements."

More faulty logic. NOWHERE in any of my previous statements did I reference that my garbage was private property at ALL TIMES. When it's on MY property, it's still MY property. Nobody has the legal authority to take it ANYMORE than they have the legal authority to take the garbage bag that's sitting in the back of my pickup truck in MY driveway. OR, the small garbage bag sitting in the back seat of my convertible with the top down for that matter sitting in MY driveway. Can you NOT decipher the differences there?

From my perspective, the minute that garbage is put to the curbside, it becomes PUBLIC domain. If someone has to JUMP MY FENCE to get to my garbage that I leave open for the garbagemen to come on MY PROPERTY to get, then they still have NO RIGHT to it! Of course, either my dogs or my gun or both would take care of said fence jumpers, but that's another discussion. In that instance, it would only become public domain once it left the garbage can and MY property. Can you NOT see the differences there?

Where do YOU draw the line between private garbage ownership and it becoming public domain? Mine couldn't be more clear. Oh, and there's also a reason smart people either burn or shred their financial and other personal data before disposing.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

outoftowner:

"Even if Patrick Henry stepped foot onto your property and blatantly trespassed...would you want your community to spend the money to incarcerate him for 6 months? Was your loss of a discarded newspaper and the violation you experienced of him walking on your property worth thousands of dollars to the tax payers?"

Yes. It's still a violation of one's PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS and needs to be punished. Where exactly do you draw the line here? What's next? Validating someone to go into my attic and sort through stuff I've had in boxes for years and claim that it's his because I'm no longer using it? What about a Goodwill housecleaning stash? Say I have stuff in my back yard laid out for the next morning's Goodwill run, and he hops over my fence and helps himself to it. Do you think I shouldn't press charges? Do you not see the insanity and "slippery slope" of your defense here? Of course, where I come from, if anyone is caught in someone else's backyard, it could be a lethal move.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Bsmith -

I draw the line where the owners of Sweet Pea Produce, who were the owners of the garbage and the owners of the property where the trespass took place said they did not want to press charges and did not want to see these guys prosecuted.

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plaasjaapie 8 years, 7 months ago

Let's see. We've had Federal Prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald spending the last several years and millions in tax money getting Scooter Libby indicted for allegedly lying about a crime that Fitzgerald knew from his first week on the job never took place.

Several months ago we began to hear about DA Mike Nifong confecting a rape case at Duke evidence out of what is obviously whole cloth so that he can pander to black voters who want to legally lynch several "privileged" white kids at Duke University.

Now we have these clowns Kerry St. James and Bonnie Roesink who obviously have so much spare time on their hands that they can prosecute this ridiculous case. That these two people who obviously harbour a bizarre notion of what constitutes justice hold such positions of responsibility is unconscionable. That the state bar association hasn't immediately started proceeding against them for their egregious conduct brings the whole legal profession, such as it is, into disrepute.

It strikes me that the legal profession is long overdue the sort of house cleaning that the American Medical Association did on US medical schools at the end of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th. They managed to get 90% of 'em closed and improved the standard of medical practice dramatically.

I can think of a lot worse things than having 90% of US law schools close their doors.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

I also draw the line at the DA costing the city thousands of dollars to incarcerate these guys when he should have instead given them a fine and brought money into the city instead of throwing it away to placate is dislike of the RF.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

outoftowner:

"...where the trespass took place said they did not want to press charges and did not want to see these guys prosecuted...I also draw the line at the DA costing the city thousands of dollars to incarcerate these guys..."

I never disagreed with you on the point of overzealousy on the DA's side. That's why I have no interest in ever going to Steamboat again. I absolutely HATE small town hack legal authorities.

However, just like I said above many many times, trespassing is trespassing. And like I said earlier, if someone scaled my fence at my home and helped themselves to my garbage can next to the garage, I'd have their arses arrested and fined, but I sure wouldn't support locking them away for 6 months. Now, if they go INTO my garage, that's another matter entirely, and that's where I WOULD support throwing the book at them. I needed to clarify that from my earlier statement. That's where my problem is with the sentence of these guys: they scaled a fence and took out of a garbage can, but they did NOT violate or enter a building or structure, which is how First Degree burglary is listed in Colorado. And THAT is where I have the major problem here.

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Bsmith - I'm confused. Your first post concluded:

I live in Atlanta, and we have tens of thousands of skiers/boarders and dozens of clubs. We travel all over the nation and around the world in annual and bi-annual trips, many times to Colorado, including Steamboat. That said, hopefully we will be involved with organizing a boycott of Steamboat for this winter's trips from the Metro Atlanta area if this decision is not reversed. I want NO part of my money going to a Caesar-like locale.

"I don't agree with the Rainbow Family disorganization or what they stand for, and I'm sure the affiliation of these two men to that organization didn't help their causes, but this is not freaking Iraq under Saddam! This story is straight out of a flick where some tourist gets the shaft from a small-town gung-ho DA and judge. Even if this ruling is reversed, my family and I will never step foot in Steamboat Springs ever again."

It sounds like you have since done an about face over the legal definition of the ownership of garbage.

I think someone posted that once it's officially in the trash, it becomes the property of the waste management service.

Well, Hells Bells! Let's get them and their lawyers into it too!

This is getting a little crazy. Think I'll go watch some Maury "You are NOT the father!!"

Sigh...

I guess they should be grateful they got 6 months in jail in Steamboat Springs. Sounds like they'd have gotten some caps in their arses if they'd have been in your garbage.

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rpcox 8 years, 7 months ago

Forget the "waste of financial resources" aspect. The fundamental question is why is th DA pursuing this when there is no crime against the state?

Given the information available, this would appear to be another clear abuse of law-enforcement and the judicial system.

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americanINbeijing 8 years, 7 months ago

Just as another user mentioned earlier,

I signed up for registration on this site because of what has happened to these men.

I have read all the posts, as well as the article.

It is blatantly obvious that the assistant D.A. in this case has no right to be in the position he is in. He has abused his powers. He has no tact, morality, or compassion.

I deeply regret being half way around the world right now. If I were in Colorado, I would not drop this issue until this man loses his post.

I wish the two men who pleaded and their family the best of luck and one piece of advice: do not drop this issue - this D.A. is a menace to your community and deserves no respect.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

outoftowner:

I just wasn't clear earlier. Read above:

"I'd have their arses arrested and fined, but I sure wouldn't support locking them away for 6 months. Now, if they go INTO my garage, that's another matter entirely, and that's where I WOULD support throwing the book at them. I needed to clarify that from my earlier statement. That's where my problem is with the sentence of these guys: they scaled a fence and took out of a garbage can, but they did NOT violate or enter a building or structure, which is how First Degree burglary is listed in Colorado. And THAT is where I have the major problem here."

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Bsmith -

Thanks for the clarification of your position.

I guess the bottom line, in my opinion, is that the owners of Sweet Peas turned out to victims after all. It's a sorry state of affairs when they have to plead their side of the case in a second news article to state that they were against prosectuion and had even refused to file a police report. Even so, the first 50 messages on the original board were about boycotting Sweet Peas, and the owner even came out on the board and begged people to stop calling and threatening his employees by the time people read about his side of the story.

He was tolerant and gracious enough to have no ill will toward Siller and Charle - 'let them go on their way - no harm done' and his tolerance got him the wrath of the DA's office against these guys, and then the damage to his store's reputation.

That's my main reason for having the posture of "my garbage, my decision as to whether it's ok that someone took it or not" - he says he was not damaged by the defendants, but he was damaged by the back lash caused by the DA.

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BAK 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't know what kind of place Steamboat is, never having been there, but from the nature of this case it sounds like some kind of Chapel Hill or Kennebunkport type town where the locals, who may actually mostly be rich imports, get all in a huff over whether the neighbor puts in the right color geraniums around the mailbox.

I find it interesting that the prosecutor chose to make an "example" of two people from out of town. Let's see what the local criminals will learn from the pattern of "examples" that the prosecutor's office applies: that you are OK to commit crime in Steamboat as long as you're a local kid, because the prosecutor will only try to prove a point on you if you're a harmless social worker from the east coast, whereas violent local people apparently get a slap on the wrist.

As an attorney, I found the legal analysis by David (fourth comment from the top) compelling indeed. I believe the elements of the crime of theft were not present, thus there can be no conviction for theft. According to the statute, an item of value to the owner is a necessary element of the crime of theft.

The items had no value to the owner, as having been clearly abandoned by their former owner by the act of placing them in a garbage bin. This is known as THROWING THEM AWAY.

The only possible crime left is trespass, and so you have 2 young men, a social worker and a teacher, in jail for half a year on a trespass charge. Good going, St. James, you have really made yourself useful to society.

Finally, let me say that I recently made the acquaintance of Mr. Charle while on vacation with family and friends. He is a decent, principled, kind-hearted, hard-working, pleasant, mild-mannered young man, one whom anyone would be glad to have as a neighbor, co-worker, or friend.

Let me say, without meaning to minimize the hardship of his current situation: If anyone can apply a positive mental attitude to find some kind of redeeming experience out of this undeserved jail sentence, it would be Mr. Charle.

I am sure that wherever he goes and whatever he does, he will be a credit to himself despite the travesty that masquerades as "justice" (at least the way the DA sees it) in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

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mafent 8 years, 7 months ago

bsmith posted: ..."The men admitted that they jumped a fence and took fruits and vegetables from the garbage area at Sweet Pea." As I stated in my very first post, it WAS private property. Hence, TRESSPASSING. Whether or not it was garbage is NOT the issue. Anything in your garbage on YOUR property is STILL your property. Hence, THEFT.

Comment: Trespassing, probably true. THEFT, maybe, but that is for a jury to decide. However, the point here is the common law requirement of a flesh and blood complainant. Crimes against the state existed in Nazi Germany. It can only exist in a free country if the will of the People is determined by their ignorance of common law and the principles of a sovereign People.
Original post cont.... What, do you think you can legally walk on my lawn, which is not a building or dwelling, and steal my tomatoes sitting on a table for ripening? Comment: If I have no knowledge of it being private property, I may proceed unabated. Unless marked with NO TRESPASS signs, or bordered with a fence (which is the case here), no intent to trespass equates to no trespass (at least in most states). Original post cont.... Do you think you can come on to MY property legally and sift through MY trash legally which is still MY property which is not in a building or dwelling but merely next to my garage? Comment: You ask questions that are off track insofar as the ISSUE before us. The question is: "If I sift through your trash that is on your private property, am I committing a crime beyond trespass? (And again, it can only be trespass if intent is to move about the private property of another without their consent) The answer, according to presidence of the court (and according to previous post regarding elements of a crime of theft in that state), the answer is a resounding "NO!" Original post cont.... What the hell kind of free-for-all world do you live in? Comment: "Land of the free..." means just that. Unless, and until, I infringe upon your unalienable Rights, I commit no crime. And "YES!", in my country, it is "FREE FOR ALL"; it is free for all to do whatever they choose, so long as the do not infringe upon another's Right to Life, Liberty and Property (Bill of Rights are UNALIENABLE: one can not deny Rights since Rights are granted by the CREATOR, the state controls only that which it creates, and that is why the People CONTROL the state, since People created government, not the backasswards way that many believe)) This is Common Law, and according to American Jurisprudence, we are a common law nation. Bottom line: No proper complainant (owner, a flesh and blood man, decided NO COMPLAINT), means no proper complaint, and therefore, there can be no crime. If there is no egg, can there be chickens (OK bad example)?

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

Something else I'm puzzled about -

These message boards have been flying since Friday. The news articles have been in newspapers and online news services since 9/1. I'm sure a lot more of the local Steamboat Springs residents have read what's been posted out here, even if they personally chose not to comment.

Doesn't anyone in Steamboat Springs know Mr. St. James? Has anyone called him and told him to take a peek? I would think that he'd want to be doing whatever damage control he could before Bonnie Roesink and Governor Owens get to their offices tomorrow and check their emails!

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outoftowner 8 years, 7 months ago

YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

Steamboat Springs - Several local politicians and attorneys are urging the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office to reconsider a six-month jail sentence given last week to two men who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespass for stealing rotten produce from a garbage can.

A Steamboat Springs City Council member, the Democratic candidate for Routt County sheriff and several local attorneys are among the voices expressing their disdain for the punishment given Wednesday to Giles Charle, 24, of Somersworth, N.H., and David Siller, 27, of Wayne, Pa. The men pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespass, were sentenced to six months in Routt County Jail and ordered to pay $15 in restitution to Sweet Pea Produce. The men were on their way to the Rainbow Family of Living Light gathering in North Routt County when they were arrested June 26 on suspicion of felony second-degree burglary.

The men admitted to jumping a fence and taking produce from Sweat Pea Produce on Yampa Street......

SEE FULL TEXT ON TODAY'S ONLINE RECENT STORIES. TOO LONG TO POST IN IT'S ENTIRETY.

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swami 8 years, 7 months ago

I just read this article from Drudge report and happen to have a lazy holiday off from the office. I'm writing from Newport Beach, CA...so it's kind of a 'way' out of towner perspective or maybe a bigger picture perspective. For all you directly involved I'm rooting for getting these guys released from jail ASAP! I just sent an email to the luv_veggies address as requested in above comments. I hope the Steamboat Springs legal system learns a little tolerance of 'different' people cause it seems like the fact that a guy from CA is reading this is probably going to hurt the local (tourist) business quite a bit. There's alot of places I can spend my ski vacation, Steamboat won't be one of them.

Also I'd swear there's a South Park episode that is the exact replica of this situation....

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mafent 8 years, 7 months ago

bsmith posted: "Yes. It's still a violation of one's PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS and needs to be punished. Where exactly do you draw the line here?

Comment: You don't, the law does. What are the "punishments" for trespass? 6 months for first time offenders is a bit harsh, don't you agree, especially when there can be no crime without a proper complaint.

Posted: What's next? Validating someone to go into my attic and sort through stuff I've had in boxes for years and claim that it's his because I'm no longer using it?

Comments: Once again, the law states what the elements are that determine a crime. Your attic is off limits, as any court will support. Whether or not it is if use to you makes no difference, only whether it is of value. Something discarded as trash apparently has no value. All of these points are moot since there is nobody to bring the claim by complaint before the courts.

Posted: What about a Goodwill housecleaning stash? Say I have stuff in my back yard laid out for the next morning's Goodwill run, and he hops over my fence and helps himself to it. Do you think I shouldn't press charges? Do you not see the insanity and "slippery slope" of your defense here?

Comment: What you put out for goodwill still has value (it can serve as a tax write off). What goes in the trash, you'd be hard p[ressed to convince anyone that this had value to you.

Posted: Of course, where I come from, if anyone is caught in someone else's backyard, it could be a lethal move."

Comments: It could be a "lethal move" that puts you in prison for a long time, as well as bringing death upon the trespasser. Since dumpster-diving is not a crime in any states that I'm aware of, and since a perpertrator of dumpster diving does not constitute "eminent threat", ant decision to use lethal force, especially when lesser force would suffice (like when confronted by someone rummaging your trash can), is a crime in every state.

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

mafent:

"Comment: If I have no knowledge of it being private property, I may proceed unabated. Unless marked with NO TRESPASS signs, or bordered with a fence (which is the case here), no intent to trespass equates to no trespass (at least in most states)."

Nowhere have I stated that this should have been anymore than a trespassing issue.

"If I have no knowledge of it being private property, I may proceed unabated..."

In my example, what part of walking on a LAWN with a HOUSE would you not identify as being private property? Or a fence for that matter?

""Land of the free..." means just that. Unless, and until, I infringe upon your unalienable Rights, I commit no crime. And "YES!", in my country, it is "FREE FOR ALL"; it is free for all to do whatever they choose, so long as the do not infringe upon another's Right to Life, Liberty and Property"

And anything that's still on my property is just that.. MY PROPERTY. Scaling my fence on MY property is violating my right to private property ownership no matter what the intent. But you are right. It IS a free nation. There's also the second amendment and the right to defend ones' life and property. Freedom has it's limitations, even within the law.

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Billy_the_Kid 8 years, 7 months ago

This is my first AND my last post to this board so any comments (positive or negative) directed at me will not be acknowledged. As I see it from a business owner's perspective who has had experience with trespassers and burglers there was NO crime committed by these two youngsters. First: Unless the law is specifically different in Colorado from where I live there MUST BE "No Trespassing" signs posted to warrant the act of trespassing. The mere fact that a protective fence, which was probably erected to prevent four legged animals from scattering debri around, was in place is irrelevent if there were no signs posted. Second: The business owner MUST "press charges" before legal action can be taken against alleged perpitrators. Third: If a District Attorney can sumarally charge an individual with trespassing because that individual was on another person's property he could conceivably walk into a business such as the Sweet Pea, he could collar and arrest, at his pleasure and/or indiscretion, anyone who didn't meet his personal biggoted prejudiced standards. Fourth: In order for a crime to be classified Felony Theft of Property the value of said property must exceed a much larger amount than that of a few pieces of over ripe, out of condition produce which has been discarded. I do not subscribe to the Steamboat Pilot & Daily so I did not see the Obituary that surely must have been published at some point in the past. The death must have gone unnoticed by the Citizens of Steamboat Springs and the Memorial Service must have been foregone. Perhaps the editors of the Steamboat Pilot & Today could run it again so that the good people of Steamboat Springs will know that they have lost one of their most beloved citizens - Common Sense. I guess Forrest Gump was right after all; "Stupid is as Stupid does."

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bsmith 8 years, 7 months ago

mafent:

"You don't, the law does. What are the "punishments" for trespass? 6 months for first time offenders is a bit harsh, don't you agree, especially when there can be no crime without a proper complaint"

First, that's what I mean by "you." Where do you draw the line in SUPPORT of the law(s) and the people who draw them up and pass them? Second, if you go back to my VERY first post, you'll see where not only do I think six months is harsh, I think it's assinine. In fact, I will not ever be going back to Steamboat after reading about this.

"Something discarded as trash apparently has no value."

But if the trash can is still on private property, exactly how does that give someone else the green light to scale a fence that separates public from private property and sift through it? Who or what law is to tell someone else that what they are throwing away has "no value" and is therefore entitled to public domain even on private property?

"All of these points are moot since there is nobody to bring the claim by complaint before the courts."

Nobody is arguing about that. What I'm arguing about is the attititude of "well, if you are just going to throw it away, I have a right to it!" Even if said throw-away is in a garbage can on private property separated by a fence. I'm sorry, I don't buy that.

"What goes in the trash, you'd be hard p[ressed to convince anyone that this had value to you."

That's nobody else's damned business what I choose to keep or throw away. When it's on the garbage truck or at the landfill AWAY from MY property, they can HAVE AT IT.

"It could be a "lethal move" that puts you in prison for a long time, as well as bringing death upon the trespasser."

If he's shot in the back trying to run away, yes, that could be manslaughter to murder. That said, if said property invader kept moving at me when I tell him to get the hell away from my garbage and off my land, and I drop him, little beyond routine questioning would happen. At least where I live.

A lot of Americans don't take to home invasions or property invasions lightly, and you can probably thank the revolving door of criminalilty due to liberal judges who like to give criminals a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chance at redemption. It's that "slippery slope" issue again. Slap on the wrist, then they get braver. That said, sifting through trash at an empty closed business doesn't deserve a six month sentence. Period. I think we can all agree on that.

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swami 8 years, 7 months ago

Excellent comment Billy! The only reason I signed up and posted on this topic is, as I was just surfing the news which I don't get the pleasure of very often, I read this article and the very words that came to me are "Have these people completely lost their common sense?"

If digging in trash cans starts getting prosecuted as felony theft nationwide then there's a couple million homeless people in this country that my tax dollars will be paying for to house and feed...My taxes are high enough!!

If the fine people of Steamboat Springs and the fine people involved in the Rainbow movement have differences there are many less fascist ways to handle them. Remember our country was built on protest!

I propose a swap, you guys send Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James out here to Southern California where we can use more DA's that are tough on crime and we'll send you a few of ours that are mostly good at staring at the pencil holders on their desk.....And... I promise St. James will be far too busy to harass hippies and homeless people.

There are people on this planet that have real problems.

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bigdog 8 years, 7 months ago

's,

I wish I had hired you when a bunch of trash was dumped on my property last year. Those scoundrels that did it would be serving 5 to life by now.....

LOL

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ramjet 8 years, 7 months ago

What do you want to bet that if the guys were from Mexico and in the country illegally, they would have been set free?

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DesertDawg 8 years, 7 months ago

The cops were called because of the continued thieving of the Rainbows...wherever they go, things disappear. Why else make an "example" of these two idiots? It's about time they pulled the plug on shoplifting and thefts committed by these gypsies?

Lock them all up.

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swami 8 years, 7 months ago

quote: ramjet

"What do you want to bet that if the guys were from Mexico and in the country illegally, they would have been set free?"

Of course they'd be set free, otherwise who's going to mow St. James lawn and babysit the kids while the trophy wife (just guessing) is getting her nails done?

And DesertDawg, probably a good point you make, I don't live in the community so I don't see what you see. But it seems the DA chose a bad scenario to make an example.

They should probably just lock em up for marijuana or something obviously illegal that a bunch of pseudo lawyers aren't going to try to re-interpret the constitution over.

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bigdog 8 years, 7 months ago

Swami,

the sad truth is that a lot of the steamboat legal "talent" is posting already - but most should be classified as "pseudo" - how sad.

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rdr 8 years, 7 months ago

Wow - thank goodness for sites like the Pilot where they actually allow serious discussion to develop after they report a story. I just got home from dropping middle daughter off at university for her freshman year, and a link to this debacle was waiting in my inbox from a friend who's an activist Libertarian attorney.

What a hoot, and the thread has been a great read! For one thing, it's heartening to see that wanton stupidity can be found somewhere outside of the Indiana borders inside which I've been trapped by way of family commitments for several years. And on another front, it's very good to find things like this out before we make our travel plans. Roughly every second or third summer we generally haul the family to a timeshare somewhere behind the Front Range; hiking, climbing, and dropping a non-trivial amount of coin with the local merchants. I think it's safe to say that Steamboat can drop off the planning list now.

Steamboat residents, although I'm not likely to visit anytime soon even if your ADA returns from holiday and recovers from his bout with megalomania, I do hope you can band together and effect some change and moderation in your local governance before too much long term damage occurs...

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swami 8 years, 7 months ago

That is sad bigdog.

I hope when all is said and done, and people like me go back to our jobs Tuesday morning, that your community rebounds from all this negative attention and the small business owners aren't hurt too much.

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swami 8 years, 7 months ago

....and well said rdr

my sentiments exactly!

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Cincinnatus 8 years, 7 months ago

No complainant, no case.

What more needs to be said?

Do not property owners have the property rights to determine who may and may not be on their property? Since the owners of Sweet Pea insisted on no charges, that can be taken as permission for the individuals to be there. Therefore there is no incident of tresspassing.

Where I come from, you don't tresspass, you just don't, but you also don't file charges against someone who went off the road in a blizzard, and broke a window into your house to get in and not freeze to death. Sure, you might expect them to pay for the window, but you don't file charges.

Since the individuals appear to have money, they were probably not starving, so the gleaning statutes wouldn't be in effect. But if they were starving, they could not rightly have been prosecuted for gleaning. That law, like the unalienable rights, comes from God.

This Rainbow cult sound like a bunch of unsavory characters, granted, but that doesn't give us or anyone else the right to break the law, under the color of the law.

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texastrails 8 years, 7 months ago

A good friend from Steamboat has often told me about some of the more ridiculous actions of the local authorities, but I'll have to admit those pale in comparison. All along I thought that the good ole boy network was found mainly in deep east Texas in towns like Jasper and Vidor.

This has to be one of the most power mad stunts I've ever seen. We don't have the Rainbow folks in Texas that I know of, but the last time I checked, this was a FREE country. That means whether the locals like those folks or not, no citizen in this country should be terrorized by some self righteous police force and DAs office who dislikes the whole group and decides to send a message at the expense of two unfortunate individuals. I think the ADA in Steamboat should have thought this one through a little more. Looks like they've got more than a tiger by the tail. The mere fact that the store owners, one whose property the events transpired, did not even wish to press charges tells me all I need to know. The DAs office in Routt county serves their interests, not the citizen's interests. When that line is crossed, its called a police state.

Questions to Steamboat Springs residents:

  1. Does ADA St. James goosestep when he walks? if you answered yes, you might want to start thinking about what your local legal system is becoming.

  2. Do you really want this kind of press? Hint: Your town is pretty dependent on tourism dollars.

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Logan 8 years, 7 months ago

Folks might want to contact the Steamboat Chamber of Commerce at:

http://www.steamboat-chamber.com/info/contactus.asp

I suspect the business community is not real happy about this travesty of justice. Let them know.

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Logan 8 years, 7 months ago

Public Comment at City Council tommorow at 7PM

CITY OF STEAMBOAT SPRINGS AGENDA REGULAR MEETING NO. 2006-24 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 4:00 P.M. MEETING

LOCATION: Citizens' Meeting Room, Centennial Hall; 124 10th Street, Steamboat Springs, CO MEETING PROCEDURE: Comments from the Public are welcome at two different times during the course of the meeting: 1) Comments no longer than three (3) minutes on items not scheduled on the Agenda will be heard under Public Comment; and 2) Comments no longer than three (3) minutes on all scheduled public hearing items will be heard following the presentation by Staff or the Petitioner. Please wait until you are recognized by the Council President. It is City Council's goal to adjourn all meetings by 10:00 p.m. A City Council meeting packet is available for public review in the lobby of City Hall, 137 10th Street, Steamboat Springs, CO.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Public Comment will be provided at 7 p.m., or at the end of the meeting, (whichever comes first).

CITY COUNCIL WILL MAKE NO DECISION NOR TAKE ACTION, EXCEPT TO DIRECT THE CITY MANAGER. THOSE ADDRESSING CITY COUNCIL ARE REQUESTED TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES BY NAME AND ADDRESS. ALL COMMENTS SHALL NOT EXCEED THREE MINUTES.

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WobelyJones 8 years, 7 months ago

Wooooo Weeeee! I'm gonna send em an e-mail of support!!! Thanks for the address. Outta make it one year just to stir up some more babble.

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Corvus 8 years, 7 months ago

Ok I think that 379664 needs to have something cleared up. Dumpster diving isnt bad. Why should I spend 3 bucks on 6 bagels when I can walk to the sandwich shop after it closes and get a 44 gallon garbage bag filled with nothing but 2 day old bagels for free? Its not that I dont have 3 dollars and some change, but the government says that they cant keep serving those bagels after a couple days. Nothing wrong with them, just regulation here in Florida. Its the same with the veggies there. So the letuce has a bit of brown on it and its less likly to get sold. Ill take it if your just throwing it out. With a creamy dressing you cant even see the brown spots. Dumpster diving is a rewarding practice taht can result in a person getting free food and a lot of cool stuff. I live in an apartment complex by my college so a lot of people move in and out at the begining and ends of summer which means that a good trip to the dumpster Ive found CDs, DVDs, a replacement dinning room chair, and a prefectly good USB cable. I say that a good way to fight this would be to advocate diving in the area and to hold recycling fairs where people can trade or barter items that they want to get rid of but someone else might need. The homeless would be happy to have some free home cooked leftovers, its a great way to meet people, and you could find something you need like a book or a part of a computer.

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ihatestupidpeople 8 years, 7 months ago

so we put these guys in jail and fill the jail even more than it can be. it is overflowing as it is. and we let people like brent romick mister rodeo him self that is a load of crap he should be mister drunk. we let him drive agian what the heck karry you stupid put him in the pokie.

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LivedHere 8 years, 7 months ago

...the locals wonder why this area's suicide rates are the highest in the nation!

Ruled by the S S of Routt County. (polls were too!!)

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LivedHere 8 years, 7 months ago

http://www.steamboatpilot.com/section/frontpage_lead/story/28593

I've lived there! This county NEVER stops once your in their SYSTEM!!!

Maybe some one could send them more monies to poll St. James

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Donna Sanders 8 years, 7 months ago

I will always believe there is a God, there is Carma, but Kerry....? Which "G" role does he played for years and years and years. WHEN IS IT GOING TO STOP, WHEN IS HE GOING TO BE STOPPED and whom will do it? I have been wondering and waiting and cannot understand even to this day that he is still going on...and being rewarded!
It is dumbfounding. Karma knows no time so it is just a matter of WHEN. HE NEEDS TO GET THE SAME MEDICINE THAT HE HAS DISHED OUT: UNREASONABLE JAIL-TIME, SOME SERIOUS TIME TILL HE IS HUMBLED. But with this system, I don't keep my hopes high. Double Jeopardy.....not possible? You havn't been around long enough. They have no boundaries. But the world could NEVER know for we are just a small fish in an over-powering pond. SO THIS CASE COULD BE A BLESSING IN DISGUISE.... And If true, citizens and visitors could once again be in an environment that is not intimidating but understanding and fair.

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Dorothywhitehawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I live in eastern Kansas and I heard about this insanity. I think the Dist. Att. Bonnie Roesink needs to put a leash on Kerry St. James. What is really funny about all this is, if he ever wanted a political career this pretty well shoots it down. He is the laughing stock of the whole country. Give him a call 970-879-1146 and let him know what a "hot dog" he is. I see in my mind Kerry St. James running down the street with an ak47 chasing a couple of guys with overripe fruit and vegs lots of them falling on the ground. And Kerry St. James, screaming out,"NOT IN MY TOWN !!" hahahahahahahahahahahaha That's the way to go Kerry St. James, get all those bad guys. hahahahahahahaha He is such a joke. All of eastern kansas is laughing their rears off. We are still laughing. We want pictures of this dip. hahahahahaha

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montysimmons 8 years, 7 months ago

This situation is easily explained; St. James and District Attorney Bonnie Roesink are jerks. The US legal system is not a "justice" system, it is "just a" system and when jerks like St. James and Roesink are in power, injustice and non-sense become more common place.

The Preamble and Constitution of the United States (and similar more local documents) are wonderful documents that espouse ideas much bigger than the men who authored them; ideas that have made this nation the greatest ever known. But such great ideas are attacked every day by jerks with power such as Roesink and St. James. "Public Defenders" who charge members of the public with sealing items that had no more of a rightful owner than did the air surrounding such items. All the while such jerks wrap themselves in the Constitution.

The US Constitution is a guide, a contract between "we the people" and those in power. A contract where "we the people" tell those in power (federal government) that they are not all powerful and they must constrain their actions. Similar agreements govern the actions of Roesink and St. James. However, "we the people" should always remember that the Constitution (and similar documents), while a great document, is nothing more than a document containing words. Words, for all their glory and power, have never built a school, stopped a murder or helped a child. Such results require human action.

It is up to "we the people" to see that those in power limit their actions to the letter and spirit of such contracts and that the jerks are removed from office. We do so through the vote.

Thus, Roesink and St. James have shown such poor judgment in this case that they should be removed from office regardless of their future actions. I would also hold their political party accountable for several election cycles refusing to elect a DA with Roesink's political affilication. Chant the phrase, "remember the spoiled fruit criminals" should fill the air. By doing so, "we the people" send a message to those in power that they can break the contract that binds government and man for only a short time. But eventually such jerks will be forced to crawl back under the rock from which they came.

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steamboatcrazy 8 years, 7 months ago

In my opinion, this is A-typical of St-James. He has little mans syndrome and has done many things over the years that speak to his need for power. The DA's both past and present are afraid of him and have done nothing to slow him down. He seems to want to hurt these people and does not care how he does it. This is an abuse of power and does not or should not reflect on the people of Steamboat and Routt county. Many including myself wish that St-James would just pack up and leave.

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swami 8 years, 7 months ago

I found it!

Steamboat Springs IS Southpark!

...Well maybe just in this instance...

Die Hippie, Die Episode Number: 127 Season Num: 9

http://www.tv.com/south-park/die-hippie-die/episode/408439/summary.html

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Dorothywhitehawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Now it seems that the DA Bonnie and St. James are changing the stories about the situation. A little late I would think. As Gun Ho as they were, I wouldn't believe any change of their stories now. Sort of like shutting the barn door after the cow got out. We are still laughing our rears off at Kerry St. James and are now including Bonnie Roesink with him. I would say more, but, I am about to pee my pants I am laughing so hard...........got to run.

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Ivan 8 years, 7 months ago

This story has spread past the English speaking circles. Here http://lenta.ru/news/2006/09/05/trash/ is the report in Russian posted 05.09.2006 (Sept 05), 14:50:46 (Moscow time). Headline reads "Americans jailed for half a year for stealing from the garbage". Below the story is a link to the "We didn't want this" story on steamboatpilot.com (which is how I got here).

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BigTimeSublime 8 years, 7 months ago

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

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kittykat 8 years, 7 months ago

I know that once your items are put into a trash barrel ect ect you are saying that you disown the items its anyones game now. and pig food anyone who raises hogs know what the produce ect ect businesses throw away, come on rosnic st james do the law right you will be surprised at what you learn!!!!!!!!!!!

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NotFromSteamBoat 8 years, 7 months ago

E-mail Executive Director Charles Turner (cturner@cobar.org) of the Colorado Bar Association with concerns about Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James , District Attorney Bonnie Roesink and Judge James Garrecht with concerns about violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct. If they are abusing their power they need to be investigated.

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NotFromSteamBoat 8 years, 7 months ago

The correct office to complain about Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James , District Attorney Bonnie Roesink and Judge James Garrecht is the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation.
Their webpage is listed under the Colorado Supreme Court (www.coloradosupremecourt.com) or can be contacted directly by calling 303.866.6400 or 877.888.1370

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mrnemo 8 years, 7 months ago

Would someone close to this affair please keep us out-of-staters updated on the progress of this case? This is fascinating reading. Thanks. Augie from Punta Gorda, Florida

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