Too much time?

Community leaders call for overturn

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— 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.

As part of a plea agreement with Assistan District Attorney Kerry St. James, the men pleaded guilty to the lesser misdemeanor charge in exchange for having the felony they were facing dismissed.

A Steamboat Pilot & Today criminal history check on both men did not turn up any previous offenses.

The plea agreement, which called for the six-month sentence, has outraged many in the community and has put pressure on the DA's Office to revisit the case.

Steamboat Springs City Council member Towny Anderson said he plans to send a letter to District Attorney Bonnie Roesink and Kerry St. James expressing the distress he hopes his fellow council members have about the sentencing.

"This is distressing to me. This is not who we are. To choose these two guys to make an example of : what is the point?" Anderson said Sunday.

"Anybody who read these articles, or at least 95 percent of the community, would immediately see that this was clearly a miscarriage of justice and that the assistant district attorney has gone completely awry and lost his better sense of justice and judgment."

Anderson said he hopes city officials will come to a unanimous decision and send the letter. In the meantime, Anderson is encouraging community members to do the same.

"What this boils down to is: Can we get the district attorney to overrule this sentence? I don't know the answer to that, but if she can, it would behoove the community to appeal to her as strongly and broadly as possible," he said.

Steamboat Springs attorney Kris Hammond, who was consulted about the case by Charle's family in New Hampshire, said Roesink has the power to overrule the sentence.

"(Roesink) is the boss of (St. James). If she thinks he made a bad call, she can come in and change that," he said.

Hammond said he has never seen an overturned sentence in the 14th Judicial District, but he added that if there were a case that deserved it, it would be that of Charle and Siller.

"I don't think I've ever seen it happen, but I've also never seen a case that wouldn't warrant it more," he said. "I can't see how justice was served here," he said.

Steamboat Springs attorney Wayne Westphale, who represented the men, called the case "disappointing" and said he has little faith his clients' fates will change anytime soon.

"The DA's Office has an incredible amount of leverage in these types of cases, and (St. James) exercised all of that leverage and punished these guys in what most people would call an excessive sentence," Westphale said. "(St. James) had his mind set, and that was it."

Westphale said that as part of the plea agreement, the men agreed to waive their right to appeal the decision, which is a common practice with the 14th Judicial District DA's Office, but not outside this district.

"I think the odds of the sentencing getting overturned is small," he said. "It would probably take a different DA's Office to have something happen, but I would put pressure on the community to call or write the DA's Office. I don't think it will make a difference, but it couldn't hurt."

Gary Wall, a private investigator who is running for Routt County sheriff, said the punishment is embarrassing.

"This is outrageous. It's a bold statement, but in my 40 years, I have never seen a more severe punishment for what they did," he said.

Wall called St. James' actions "an abuse of prosecutorial discretion."

"This is an embarrassment to our entire community," he said. "This whole thing should be reconsidered."

St. James and Roesink could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Comments

Tigger 8 years, 3 months ago

This is stupid. The DAs office will let some guy go that hits my wife with a car but stealing vegetables out of a dumpster will get you 6 months. Yet another reason to not trust the U.S Government. God Save us!

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isobel 8 years, 3 months ago

Please email luv_veggies@hotmail.com with your comments on the case, demand the release of Giles Charle and David Siller, and tell your friends to do the same! All the emails received will be sent to St. James and District Attorney Roesink. The more pressure on them the better. Please help justice to be served and ensure your tax dollars are not wasted!

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bigdog 8 years, 3 months ago

Has anyone questioned why the 2 guys were order to pay $15 to Sweet Peas? It was trash! They didn't want it, and now they are ordered to pay for it? Tell you what Routt County, if you let these "criminals" out of jail, I will personally fork over the $15.

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R_Vazquez 8 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps the most absurd aspect of this story is that according to US Bureau of Justice Statistics it will cost the state around $22,000 to jail these men for six months for picking old produce from a garbage can!

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remysmith 8 years, 3 months ago

The problem this case represents is much bigger. First, what legal remedy does Hammond believe these two have? They pleaded guilty and signed away their rights of appeal. Does he really believe Roesink will cave on this issue now? Why, because of political pressure from the City Council? Pressure from the defense bar that aided and abetted this travesty in the first place?

Second, why didn't Westphale set this for trial? Is the defense bar so cowed by the St. James / Roesink administration that they were afraid a Routt County jury would convict these two on a felony burglary charge given these facts? Even the storeowners would have been witnesses for the defense!

And now the politicians are getting involved? To correct a short-term problem when the overcharging and mismanagement at the DA's office has been on going for a number of years? What makes Anderson think this particular case is worth the expenditure of his political capital?

Unfortunately, if this is resolved in favor of Charle and Siller, then it is more likely that the pandemic problems in our local criminal justice system will remain intact. The voters will forget and the politicians will move on to the next issue.

The voters in the 9th Judicial District took their responsibilities seriously and moved, for the first time in Colorado history, to remove a sitting DA. Will the voters of the 14th have as much courage?

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palmer 8 years, 3 months ago

A friend asked me: "What would the punishment have been if two Triple Crown players had taken the veggies?" It made me think....

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Richard Myers 8 years, 3 months ago

Readers can take action to get these two young men released. Please sign the Hunger Is Not A Crime Petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/colofree/petition.html

The Free Siller and Charle web page is here:

http://www.rebelgraphics.org/coloradofreedom.html

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bolter 8 years, 3 months ago

Back in the day, Paul McLimans was the elected DA, and Bonnie Roesink worked under St. James. McLimans named Roesink as his successor, but she has never had the guts to stand up to her former superior and now assistant. For years she has received the same complaints about St James as you read in this thread, but her assistant had never been a political liability, and so she did nothing. St. James is now a political liability.

Previous poster bigdog provided a link to the Bortz blog. Bortz notes that "Government, and only government, can use force to accomplish its goals. Be careful about who you put into a position where they can wield that power."

While citizens can't use force, they can and should use pressure. If Roesink's office in Craig (221 W. Victory Way, in the courthouse building) were picketed, her consitiuents in Craig would pick up the story (as would the Criag Daily Press---photo op?), and she would be "pressured" to take a stand and either support KSJ or fire him. If she does nothing it's time for a recall.

If (and only if) Roesink intervened, the defendants could file unopposed motions to withdraw their guilty pleas and the parties could then either work out something fair or set the cases for trial.

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jonathon 8 years, 3 months ago

Just to let you know, Sweet Pea will not accept the $15.00 restitution. Were not even sure how are who came up this amount? Sincerely, Owners of Sweet Pea

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babette dickson 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree with bolter. Many lawyers in our sweet town are not that clever, Westphale to start with. He always bends over with DA before the interest of his clients. Trust me you can take this to the bank. I am sorry our 2 friends got so poor representation.
IS THERE A SHARP INTELLIGENT HIGHLY QUALIFIED LAWYER OUT THERE IN COLORADO WHO WOULD TAKE THIS CASE AND WRAP UP THIS MESS. It is a good case to win for your reputation! It would be awesome to have a trial and witnessing KSJ downfall. A judge, another one please, could dismiss the case and we could move on, kick Bosnie out and heal from this ashame incident.

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

Although I do not agree with the six month sentence, I do think that there have been many other cases in this District that have been more worthy of public outcry.

These men should have nixed the deal and taken their case to trial before a jury. There are plenty of local attorneys who do not "bend over" for the D.A. I doubt that anyone could accurately characterize Kris Hammond as someone who cow tows to the D.A. at the expense of his client. Kris is an experienced trial attorney and would have likely served these clients very well had they chosen to take this case before a jury.

I realize that it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback the case and that is what I am doing here. No matter how much I disagree with the six month jail sentence that does not change the fact that these Defendants (who are grown men--not "boys") did not have to accept either of the plea agreements offerred.

The resources and care of their families would have been better spent at the outset--that is-by hiring an experienced trial attorney such as Mr. Hammond to take the case to trial.

Don't underestimate the Public Defender's office either. They do great work and have a huge caseload! This case serves as an example of why the PD's caseload is heavy.

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steamvent 8 years, 3 months ago

I was not pleased to have the Rainbow Clan filtering through Steamboat, but when the dust settled, they caused me no personal harm or inconvenience. In fact, as a group, they were far more pleasant (read "not rude") than the Triple Crown crowd. The unjust treatment of these two young men at the hands of an incompetent DA and her sniveling side kick is sickening, and all for the purpose of "making an example of them." As for the cost of locking these two up for six months, that is just the start of the financial harm caused to Steamboat through bad publicity, while businesses and tax payers here spend a fortune to attract visitors. It is time to stop this nonsense and let these men go home. One thing they have learned is to NEVER come back!

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

Steamvent--

Don't take your pets or children to the site of the RF gathering in the near future.

If you go: Parvo and Hep might cause you personal harm and inconvenience.

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Kobutsu 8 years, 3 months ago

My name is Kobutsu Malone , I'm an American Zen Buddhist priest; a volunteer prison and death row chaplain. A few years ago I became very ill after witnessing a couple of executions and fell on some very hard times. I was supporting two kids with a part time job in a hardware store. There were weeks when we didn't have enough money for food. We made use of the local food bank from time to time, my sons were in high school, the older boy worked part time in a gas station and helped out.

There was a bakery down the street from us: I saw their immigrant workers sometimes dumping huge bags of unsold bagels and baked items into the dumpster behind the store. At my age with a deteriorating heart condition, I could manage to reach part way into the dumpster and retrieve quite edible food. I wouldn't be up to climbing any fences, not my style: this food was in an open dumpster in an open alley behind the store. I made use of the resource on a regular basis. Sometimes the Hispanic guys who worked in the store would leave me a bag of especially chosen items.

But you know: If there was a fence there and I was 30 years younger, and hungry I might just have hopped it to snag some veggies destined for landfill. A "felony" hardly.

I know that if any of the cops in the town where I lived "caught" me taking bagels out of the dumpster behind the bakery, they would have expressed their concern for my welfare, some of them would have offered to buy us groceries, some of them would have would have just parked there, shined their lights so I could see better and made sure I got a goodly load and made a "clean getaway".

That is called genleheartedness:..

What happened in Steamboat Springs is downright mean spiritedness.

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brig_888 8 years, 3 months ago

Is there no common sense in Steamboat Springs? Has sanity fled toward the far horizon? Why have these men sit in jail? How about they clean up the rear of that store and litter in the surrounding area? Jail space shouldn't be wasted on non violent crime.

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steamvent 8 years, 3 months ago

Angelina_Jelly ... don't take your kids to a city park in Steamboat or risk harm and inconvenience from local and visiting dog droppings. Oh, and don't drink from local streams, you never know what might have relieved itself upstream from you, as in wildlife ... hello? Responsible dog owners vacinate their pets for Parvo, but then, responsible dog owners pick up after their pets. I know, lets take out our frustration on people who eat out of trash bins.

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Momabear 8 years, 3 months ago

This incident has removed the Sheraton resort from one of the locations under consideration for a large convention. We don't want our members who might make a minor misjudgement to experience this sort of injustice. A town whose economy depends as heavily as Steamboat Springs does on the tourism industry would do well to clean up its DA's office.

I found this information on http://www.drudgereport.com/- a national site with about 200,000 visitors per day. Who knows how many others saw this and decided not to come to Steamboat Springs. It is also on http://boortz.com/nuze/index.html

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

Steamvent, I agree with everything you just posted.

So....Would it be fair to say that we agree that there had to be many RFers at the gathering who were not responsible pet oweners in that they did not have their animals vaccinated and as a result they left behind Parvo virus that will linger?

Yes, I even agree that I have vented my frustration as to irresponsible parenting and pet ownership on people who eat from the trash bin even thought there is no report that these two RFers in particular had children or pets in tow.

And I do not even have a dog...

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intowner 8 years, 3 months ago

For those of you who are local: I believe that there will be a petition circulating shortly for a recall of Ms. Roesink. If so, I will post further info. on how to get your names on it. From what I understand, we need the signatures of registered voters equalling 10% of the people who voted for her in the last election. Ms. Roesink has been covering for Mr. St. James and his abuse of prosecutorial discretion and it has to stop. (E.g. if you have a last name like Romick, you can have multiple DUIs with basic impunity...)

BTW: He is a huge hypocrite. A friend of mine saw him walking with his girlfriend and her dog off-leash, in violation of Steamboat's leash laws. I guess that certain laws just don't apply to him. I wonder if he would like six months in jail for that?

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Well, Angelina Jelly -

And you thought they caused a stink when they were there in JUNE -

Look at the STINK NOW!

Not even your Este Lauder can take care of this one...

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

I also think that St. James owes Sweet Peas an apology for putting them in the middle of this mess against their will.

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mark1 8 years, 3 months ago

This is more than outrageous it is a total embarassment to our community..this situation needs to be protested in the media, the blogosphere and if necessary we need to protest on Lincoln Avenue. I sincerely hope that our community leaders will push for the recall of District Attorney Bonnie Roesink...she is obviously incompetent...a new DA can then get rid of Kerry St. James. The Steamboat Pilot and Alexis DeLaCruz need to keep this on the front page until something is done. My wife and myself will be writing to the DA and copying the editor of the Steamboat Pilot..I encourage others to do the same...we all need to speak up.

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mduke 8 years, 3 months ago

Remember "Cool Hand Luke?" Although these guys weren't cutting off parking meters with a large Rigid pipe cutter they were tresspassing. And going easy on them would just be a matter of a few select folks saying okay boys, let's get real and don't do this again. But what we have here is " a failure to communicate". If the DA office judges harshly.....how will it be judged? ..."for what a man sows, so shall he reap!" These boys are reaping what they sowed, but I would rather reap some jail time than to reap what lies ahead for Kerry St. James. Mr. St. James, son you have got to start thinking of that boy! You think that you are all so high and mighty pressing charges and doing the district attorney thing, man let me tell ya, the Lord will judge you much more fairly and when you go to lay your head down tonight when you go to sleep, you think of that, how will I be judged by my Creator, how will my children be judged by another DA? And you WILL be judged son. Mercy triumphs over judgement. You need to know the Lord Jesus.

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mark1 8 years, 3 months ago

For those writing to the DA here are her contact details..remember to copy the Editor of the Steamboat Pilot

Bonnie Roesink, District Attorney 136 6th Street, Box 770129 Steamboat Springs, CO 80477-0129 Phone: 970.879.1146 Fax: 970.879.6276

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dl 8 years, 3 months ago

As my brother-in-law is a retired deputy who has left the area let me

say that the example has nothing to do with the persons charged

but everything to do with their affiliation.

This is also going to be excellant for trouist selection - only well off

well represented persons will need apply. The riff-raff will know to go

elsewhere.

Merchants double your prices like Aspen.

dl

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babette dickson 8 years, 3 months ago

mark1, i agree... DEMONSTRATION ON LINCOLN ON A FRIDAY AT 5PM WILL HELP SO MUCH. DECADES AGO IN EUROPE I PROTESTED AND IT WORKS. AMERICANS ARE STILL SHY TO STOMP THE PAVEMENT. Isobel and those close to the case, do not underestimated the power of a demonstration. moreover the image of our town is at stake. YES TO RECALL, LETTERS, PETITIONS, AND A NICE DEMONSTRATION ON THE COURT LAWN... BUT HURRY WHILE THE HEAT IS ON. KEEP US POSTED!

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greiner3 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm just curious, is this the contact info for the DA?

K Stjames2165 Warrington Ct Colorado Springs, CO 80920-5375 (719) 548-8761

Thanks for answering!

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dumpster_diver 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm always worried I'm going to get caught diving for food for my family in big super market chains. I got caught one time, but the worker had pity on us, and just chased us away. I know if the corporate guy or the cops caught me I would of gone to jail and my kids would of gone hungry. I know your not suppose to do it, but when your hungry your hunger takes over and you don't think well. If I didn't have to give all my money I make to the landlord of my trailer and my electric bill I guess I would be able to buy food, but times are tough and you do what you have to do to survive.

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

The phone number I have for Kerry St. James is 970-879-1146. I've dialed it and gotten his office. And left a message.

Maybe you have his home info !! (wink wink!)

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dumpster_diver 8 years, 3 months ago

Well i can tell you not to many people call the cops when I pick up their used stuff they threw out in their garbage. They don't seem to mind just so you don't make a mess. If they think your going to make a mess then they will chase you off, but I'm always carful not to rip the bags open and I make sure I closs them when I'm done. One guy even asked me if I wanted a piano. That's right, if I had a truck I would of taken it his hands.

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greiner3 8 years, 3 months ago

From one outoftowner to another, sorry, I got what I had from a phone directory search. What else I did get using a reverse directory search was the address for his DA office although that is probably available from local phone books etc...

136 Sixth St Steamboat Springs CO 80487

Lol, if I had $50 web searchers can get that number. It's been a bad half century, ya know!

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dumpster_diver 8 years, 3 months ago

379664- I 'll tell you who will lock you up in a mina-second. It's wal-mart. Holy cow don't even think your going to take a bag of dirt that might of fell out of an overflowing dumpster. They will chase you done, No kidding. I've seen it done for a ripped bag of planting soil that was laying next to the dumpster because it was full. I never mess with places like that. I know better, but if I see a box of romain noodles laying there you betch ya I'm taking it.

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dumpster_diver 8 years, 3 months ago

379664 = No, I didn't get the piano, I didn't have nothing to haul it away in. It was a weinermimer or something. I wish I could of. Yeah there are a lot of busy body's. I don't give a hoot, sometimes I ask them if they would like me to get them some. That always have them walking away.

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dumpster_diver 8 years, 3 months ago

Well, you find folks got to go. Not all us dumpster divers are bad people, so if were not taking the box of shrimp from the dumpster could you give us a break. Thanks. Peace.

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

s -

Thought we had a truce, since we haven't replied to each other all day, but I've just got to say this -

Before getting all upset about what could happen in the future IF this gets over turned and IF something happens again, and IF this gets remembered and IF IF IF -

Let me tell you what happened to my daughter a few weeks ago. She had a friend who has been overseas for 15 months. We were picking her up at the airport. We had a miscommunication as to where to meet. We wandered the airport for an hour while the person we were meeting also wandered - apparently in opposite directions, because we missed each other. We finally put out a page for her to meet us at a gift shop near the elevator lobby and went to the gift shop to wait to hear from her. My daughter was browsing and shopping and waiting until her best friend in her life arrived. Suddenly we spotted her running across the lobby with outstretched arms. My daughter ran to meet her - with a $2 souvenier necklace that she had been considering purchasing in her hand. She, not thinking, ran OUTSIDE of the store, with the necklace in her hand. When she was about 3 steps outside the store, she turned and threw the necklace to me, as she suddenly realized that she had just "shoplifted" - and ran on to meet her friend as a couple of security guards approached.

Well, fortunately my daughter was wearing shoes and didn't stink, so the misunderstanding was cleared up without incident. Nice security guards who were pacified by the warmth of my daughter and her friends' reunion, and realized that no harm was intended.

It COULD have turned out much differently.

And if it had, I would hope that people would rally to her defense, regardless of what kind of presidence it might set.

Ok, so don't OVERTURN the ruling. Simply OVERTURN the SENTENCE and make it appropriate. You've posted several times that you agree this was overkill and that St. James doesn't know his arse from a hole in the fence.

So you right one unjust sentence and it might lead to righting other unjust sentences. Is there something wrong with righting a wrong?

Please don't caution people against doing the right thing. If the right thing had been done in the first place, this story wouldn't have left Steamboat Springs. And maybe, just maybe, if your DA and Assistant DA learn a lesson, there will be no more wrongs to right.

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HairyJane 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes all you comfortably sitting at your computer typin, while 2 innocent men are being raped.

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

AND *

St. James needs to issue a formal apology to Sweet Peas for placing them in the middle of this circus that they wanted no part of. The damage this story did to them - who knows how many people read the FIRST story and thought Sweet Peas was all for this, and then turned their heads the other way - might never be known. I'm guessing most people in Steamboat Springs have seen enough to know that they were sucked into this against their will, but still.... they are owed an apology. Their employees were getting threatening phone calls and everything, and that's really sad. You yourself posted a few times that "Sweet Peas might feel remorse over this now, but remember they called the police in the first place " even though I corrected you on that a couple of times and finally the owner himself corrected you. Mr. Hieb seems like a really nice guy and I bet he'll even give Mr. Siller and Mr. Charle a few free veggies for the road once they're out of jail out of good will.

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Aw, geez, Numz. I've missed you. Can we be pen pals again?

Maybe you, me and Jelly can have a sleep over and make pop-corn and watch Scarey Movie 3?

Come on. Say yes. I'll bring some of my old stinky shoes for your dog to eat...

PLEEEEEEEZ?

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

Come on over out of towner! You are welcome anytime... Just don't bring any stinky shoes into my house, even if they are Chanel.....hmmmmmmmmmmmmk?

If you need directions to my house just look me or my pets up on My Space! Search under "desparate" ahh ha ha ha ha!!!!

I will even share my new Vogue with you. You will love it. It has Kiki Dunst on the cover dressed as Mme Antoinette.

The French Revolution is the new black, so says Vogue.

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Yikes!

Make that "SCAREY MOVIE 5 - A Terror In Steamboat Springs"

Don't you have an "Outfitters" catalog?

Hey, I have to run to the grocery store and barter for some of the not-so-fresh veggies. Maybe I'll trade some stale Girl Scout cookies.

Back soon!

Tah Tah!

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gwendolyn 8 years, 3 months ago

I firmly support St. James and his draconian form of punishment extracted toward these two strangers in the midst of our fine, albeit anal- retentive-police-state, community.

Who would have thought it could be this easy? Elect a myopic DA with a penchant for overzealous prosecution and all my powder dreams of Zen solitude on the slopes with sweeeeeet champagne fluff come true!

Although I have been debating whether or not to purchase a "Ski Town, USA" season pass for the slopes this winter, I will be in line to do so tomorrow morning.

Looks like it's going to be a "locals only" winter here and I don't want to miss a minute on those empty slopes...

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isobel 8 years, 3 months ago

thought this was interesting:

<h2>chicagotribune.com >> Business

Northwest's dumpster-diving tips crash

Associated Press Published August 17, 2006

ST. PAUL -- Getting money advice from a bankrupt airline wasn't the thing that most offended some soon-to-be laid-off Northwest Airlines Corp. employees. It was the dumpster-diving tips.

Northwest is laying off its customer service workers and baggage handlers at many smaller airports as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection.

Earlier this month, it sent workers in Bismarck, N.D.; Bozeman, Mont.; and Austin, Texas, a handbook with tips for handling their layoffs. It included 101 money-saving ideas such as, "Don't be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash."

Other tips included using old newspapers for cat litter, asking friends and family for hand-me-down clothes and asking a doctor for free prescription drug samples.

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None 8 years, 3 months ago

The damage has been done. All the extra unexpected income that was earned in Steamboat Springs will probably even out by the loss of tourism this winter. No matter the outcome of the young mens plight, the bad publicity Steamboat has recieved will be remembered. Wonder if the DA and his friends at the Forest Service gave this any thought before they proceded in this fashion. It seems the shops and hotels etc will be paying the price for the DA's "example" That's justice?

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

Ms. Numbers...you crack me up....

Who would have ever thought that you and I would come to agreement on so many issues.

Yes... the Devil Wears Prada! And so do I. Proudly!

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bigdog 8 years, 3 months ago

she devil's (Rosanne Barr) - the both of you!

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't know, Big -

They sound like "The Others" to me.

They are the only ones on the board who seem to be unconcerned about the reputation this has given Steamboat Srpings. As long as their bank roll isn't hurt, it's fine by them. I think they've pulled their 1000-count sheets over the heads and played ostrich with their noses up in the air.

I don't know, if that's what being a "have" is, I'm sure glad most of the people I know are "have nots" or "have a little bits" -

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

But, Numz, never the less, I'd be happy to send your dog my old shoes to chew on so you don't have to take her dumpster diving to save your pumps...

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intowner 8 years, 3 months ago

OK: those of you who are local: tomorrow at 10 a.m. Bonnie is scheduled to appear before the Routt County Commissioners to discuss her budget. This appearance was scheduled WAY before this Sweet Pea incident came to light, but this is our chance to pack the commissioners' meeting room to demand that something be done. I intend to be there . . . Bonnie apparantly -- like our Chief Executive -- doesn't read the papers. Maybe she won't know what hit her. . . I have spoken to one of the Sweet Pea owners and they feel awful about the situation. I've been a long-standing customer. Please support them as this is definitely not their fault.

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

Will Bill O'Reilly be at that meeting? What about Greta? Is this meeting going to be On the Record?

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bigdog 8 years, 3 months ago

Out - this isn't a have/have not issue. This is about what is right. These guys got railroaded by an over-zealous ADA and a town that has it's head up it's butt (at least some).

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matilda 8 years, 3 months ago

Will Jazzslave and 379664 be at the meeeting??? We need your support!!!

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intowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Angie: don't be so sarcastic. Immitating Ann Coulter doesn't suit you.

The meeting is on of the Commissioners' regular meetings and was pre-scheduled to discuss the DA's office budget. Three counties fund the 14th judicial district's budget. Maybe it is time for Bonne to understand that Kerry reports to her, and not the opposite.

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bigdog 8 years, 3 months ago

Tomorrow is going to be very very interesting on the national media scene. I predict that the heat will be so intense that the guys in jail will be freed within the week.....

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Scott Wedel 8 years, 3 months ago

The store owner might be felling regret now that the resulting setence is outrageous, but going onto private property is only trepassing if the owner wants to sign a complaint. Likewise, theft requires the owner of the stuff to sign a complaint.

Thus, the store owner must have signed two criminal complaints (trepass and theft) against both defendants. Once the store owner signed the criminal complaints then he was no longer in control and he may disagree with the end result, but he started the process because he had the nerve to sign criminal complaints against the two for dumpster diving.

Also, the two defendants were facing felony charges and were obvious flight risks. So they were going to be stuck here waiting for a trial and stuck with the expense of a trial. It would have been hard to defend themselves against the charge of felony trepass because they did hop a barrier to get to the dumpster. The judge probably would have given them a minimal sentence given the circumstances of the case. Thus, the defendants were facing the likelihood of having a felony record without much jail time vs taking the DA's offer of a misdemeanor with outrageous jail time. They were between a rock and a hard place.

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Bigdog-

Yes, I know that. I'm referring to Jelly and Numz with their Comso - oh, no wait - that's Vogue references and their 1000-count sheets.

They're rich, they're righteous, and they don't give a rats a$$ about anything but their clothes and hair. At least, that's the impression they are trying very hard to project.

I don't know who I feel more sorry for - the guys stuck in their jail on bogus justice, or the good ol girls who can't see beyond their own noses how stupid they sound.

I'm just glad I don't need to have someone read a magazine to me to tell me how to dress or how to do my hair or make-up. I can figure that out myself. LOL

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry Scott, no, that is not true.

The owners refused to file a police report, argued the plea deal with the DA and had an article in the Steamboat Pilot protesting the sentence.

As Jelly will tell ya "This is criminal, y'all. Ya don't expect a victim of child abuse to prosecute the abuser, do ya? This is up to the DA because it's in the BEST INTEREST of the community."

No Scott, the owners do NOT condone this.

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kands 8 years, 3 months ago

First of all, I'm not from Steamboat Springs. But, I've been there as a tourist, and loved it. To all the locals reading this, thanks for a great time and a great stay!

Now to the point . . .

At first glance, I wouldn't have thought that the crime in this case would seem to merit the punishment given. But, I really think that many of you miss the point by ignoring the fact that there definitely WAS a crime committed. To listen to many of these comments, you'd think that Jean Valjean was in jail. That's not the case.

These were not starving men. These were men who intentionally breached someone else's private space in order to get something they wanted. The fact that it was discarded vegetables is really not germane. They, apparently, had money -- but they chose not to use it, instead choosing to ignore legal boundaries and take what they wanted for free.

The sanctity of our private space is one of the most cherished legal concepts we have. Even if the spoils (pun intended) are worthless, the act of violating that space is still meaningful and people who do it should be punished.

And, lastly, in what jurisdiction anywhere would you not find a transient treated differently than a local with ties to the community? I think you'd be hard pressed to name any example.

So, is six months in the pokey excessive? I'd guess so. But, I also think that violating someone else's property, especially when you have the wherewithal not to do so, is either pretty stupid or arrogant. Given the background shown for the two (not exactly uneducated hobos), I'd guess it's the latter; and maybe, just maybe, they're right where they belong.

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bigdog 8 years, 3 months ago

kands, please come to SS and let me buy you a beer and then send you on down the road to ruin.....

A Kangaroo Court is awaiting you!

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

kands,

All the facts you mentioned are quite true, in and of themselves.

And if the person or persons whose privacy was violated (i.e. Sweet Peas) desired a prosecution, then so be it. The fact is, the owners did NOT want to prosecute.

And yes, there is likely always to be a difference in the way people are treated: are you the mayor's son (we didn't see you, run along son), a rich tourist (now go on back to your resort suite before we call your daddy), a local attorney (well, we won't cite you because you probably know the law better than we do) or a barefoot traveler (you scum! I'll teach you never to treck through my town again!) -- ?

Just because it's likely to occur does not mean it is right.

At issue here is that these guys were prosecuted with a blood-lust, AGAINST the wishes of the 'victim' and because of a personal vendetta, it would appear. A few hours of community service would have sufficed.

If this hadn't been such a drastic case of over-kill, the story would never have gotten outside of Steamboat Springs. Somebody just had his suspenders a little too tight when he was working on the plea agreement he was going to offer.

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1FRANKENSTEIN 8 years, 3 months ago

didn't a basketball player, a Dennis ? steal a piece of clothing from a colorado store. A new piece and walk away with nothing. It seems only fair he should have gotten at least 5 TO 10......

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry Numz -

Couldn't help it.

I tried all day long to say nothing, but when you started cautioning people about being to hasty to do the right thing, I couldn't NOT reply.

I will try to do better for the duration of my time on this board.

Pinocchio

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

I like Kand's post. But who am I to opine being that I am so full of sarcasm and all worried about my hair and all...

Cafe Diva it is! Count me in!

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Maybe St. James can have me locked up for a year for violating the truce...

What say you, people of Steamboat Springs??

LOL

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angelina_jelly 8 years, 3 months ago

And...if I did not make myself perfectly clear... I DO give a "rat's a$$" about some things other than my clothes and my hair. Animal rights and child advocacy are two issues I care about. I thought I made myself more than clear as to why I have negative feelings about the Rainbow Group in general. There is a ferret with no back legs out there who is going to cause a karmic smack down on someone's hippie arse.

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1FRANKENSTEIN 8 years, 3 months ago

PLEASE TELL US SWEET PEA DID ANYONE THERE SIGN A CHARGE OF THEFT AGAINST THESE MEN. PLEASE TELL US THE TRUTH............

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Logan 8 years, 3 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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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Frankie - this is from the article published yesterday - Mr. Hieb's post to follow:

"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."

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outoftowner 8 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Hieb's post from 9/2:

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, 3 months ago

So, Frankie, there you have it -

The reporter's interpretation of the interview with Mr. Hieb and Mr. Hieb's own words.

He says he was led to believe that they had been inside the store because they had bags and didn't want them released until he could find out what was taken or damaged. When he found out that all they did was take discarded items from the garbage and had never entered the stand, he declined to prosecute.

That should have been "end of story"

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bcpow 8 years, 3 months ago

When I first saw the headline I knew that it would be a winner on Drudge. Sent off the link under subject heading: Fascist CO ski town saturday afternoon. And guess what appears Sunday? The same thing that was still there on Monday night. Tuesday??? Maybe my email had nothing to do with this showing up on blogs. Anyone looking for "news of the stupid" would have come across it.

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hammerman 8 years, 3 months ago

Are you surprised at this abuse of (in)justice at the hands of a government official? Don't be. Clearly a plea offer where the prosecution knows there is no evidence to convict is tantamount to hostage taking by the State. The DA has a duty to dismiss where there is esculpatory evidence that would warrant dismissal, or a total lake of evidence that the crime charged did occur. Ah, yes, it does help with the conviction rate though.

This trend is going on around the nation folks, and it is scary to know that the government system of justice is a sham. Here are two men no doubt frightened by the threat of long term incarceration on a felony charge which in all likely hood can not be proven. Unfortunately the hostages can't pay the ransom to mount a vigorous defense so they are advised to take a plea. A plea that was onereously devised to incarcerate them for a long time most likely because they were different than the town wanted in their community. Would this happen to a wealthy property owner or visitor? Most likely not, but if it can happen to the leasat of these, it can happen to you.

We see the trend across the nation with arrested based on someone's accusation without evidence that the allegation is true. Domestic battery arrest, rape, child molestation are just a few types of cases where the presumption of innocence is exchanged for one of guilt based upon an allegation and not the trial. The victim in many jurisdictions is not even required to testify in court because of the trauma they would experience facing the accused. Again, the threat and terror of a trial wieghted in favor of the state prompts many to plea to a lesser charge. Why plead? The uncertainty of a trials outcome, and lack of sufficient funds to mount the proper defense to prove one's innocence prompt the plea. Indeed, there are innocent m & F in jail because of plea agreements. Plan on taking a flight and have someone point you out to airport security as having said something about a ???? and you will likely miss your flight until the allegation is disproved and you check OK. Who bears the expense? You do.

In the case of these two men, I would like to see if they have a cause of action against the involved agencies for false imprisonment or at least a civil rights violation. Too many prosecutors are sending innocent people to jail or diversion program that cost the accused $$$ only so the state or county can fund their diversion and jail programs while keeping their political conviction rates high.

Hopefully if there is wrongdoing on the part of the prosecution, the Bar disciplinary commission will met out an appropriate punishment.

Remember, it could be you they get in the hooks next. DON'T stand for such injustice.

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rainbowdocumentary 8 years, 3 months ago

WOW!

Goes right along with all the chaos, prejudice, bliss and the incredible experience we had Filming This Documentary!

We Are Creating A Very Eye Opening Independent DOCUMENTARY!!!

A film about passion and bliss, people socially endowed with prejudice, and why my God is better than your God!

And what is this; The 2006 Rainbow Gathering of The Living Light.

If anyone desires to see the whole story in action, we making the film available soon, please contact us via our email account at rainbowdocumentary@hotmail.com we can then forward you to the website soon...

This is a story of the present.

If anyone has any more stories, photos, and videos, please contact us.

Thank You The Filmmakers and Editors

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