DA: Justice was served

St. James, Roesink say evidence supports men's sentence

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District Attorney Bonnie Roesink and Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James address a crowd at the Routt County Commissioners meeting Tuesday about two Rainbow Family gatherers who were sentenced to six months in jail for trespassing at Sweet Pea Produce.

District Attorney Bonnie Roesink and Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James address a crowd at the Routt County Commissioners meeting Tuesday about two Rainbow Family gatherers who were sentenced to six months in jail for trespassing at Sweet Pea Produce.

Audio clip

The complete discussion about sentencing of two men who stole produce from Sweet Pea (approx. an hour long)

— District Attorney Bonnie Roesink said Tuesday that evidence shows two Rainbow Family of Living Light gathering participants entered Sweet Pea Produce and stole fresh food, thus committing felony burglary.

Jonathon Hieb, one of the store's owners, maintains that the men never entered the locked retail portion of the store. He contends that he did not think the men should have been charged with a felony and that he told the DA's office that he did not think the men should be sentenced to jail time.

Roesink said she supports the options Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James gave Giles Charle, 24, of Somersworth, N.H., and David Siller, 27, of Wayne, Pa. She said justice was served in the men's decision to plead guilty to misdemeanor trespass and serve six months in jail. The men began serving their sentence last week.

St. James said, with good time, the men will be out in 108 days. St. James said that if he thought the men simply took food from a trash area at Sweet Pea Produce, he would have handled the case differently and may have dismissed the charges. He said that before the appearance of the story in the media, the store owners never indicated that they thought the men did not enter the store.

"If this was the case of two guys diving into a Dumpster, I would agree that what has happened is excessive," he said. "But that's not the case. Based on the police reports, those were not the facts."

The men were arrested by Steamboat Springs police officers the night of June 26 on suspicion of felony second-degree burglary after they admittedly took produce from the open air market on Yampa Street.

Roesink, St. James and police maintain that the men entered the retail portion of the store and stole fresh produce; Charle, Siller and the store's owners maintain that the men never entered the locked retail portion of the store and took only over-ripe produce in the trash area that the store sometimes sells to pig farmers.

St. James said Katherine Zambrana, who owns the store with Hieb, told police the night of the incident that she wanted to "press charges all the way."

Police reports confirm that Zambrana told police what the men had taken came from inside the store, that it amounted to about $15 in produce, that a gate to the store was left ajar and that she did want to press charges. St. James said Zambrana went so far as to yell at the men while they were in the police car.

Hieb said he and Zambrana were angry when they were contacted about the possible burglary and thought the men might have damaged the store or stolen from it. Hieb said they inspected the store the next day and realized that the men never got inside the store and only took over-ripe fruits and vegetables from the trash area. At that point, he said, the owners decided they did not wish to pursue the case further.

Hieb and Zambrana declined to fill out victim statements given to them by officers. Hieb said they thought that would end the matter. Weeks later, he said, he learned from the men's defense attorney what charges and sentences the men were facing. Hieb said he contacted St. James and told him he did not think the men should face felony charges and that they should not serve time in jail.

St. James noted that the men had more than $500 between them when they were arrested and that the incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Those facts contradict the men's assertion that they only took from Sweet Pea because "nothing else was open."

In an interview at the jail Tuesday, Charle and Siller reiterated that they never entered the store and took food from the trash area.

"No. We never entered the store," Charle said. "We stepped over a rope, leaned over a (chest-high) fence and took some rotting produce out of a box. We never had the intent to commit a crime. We even parked right out in front of the store."

Charle and Siller said they saw chain grocery stores were open as they passed through Steamboat Springs, but opted to try to purchase their food from a natural foods or organic foods store, such as Sweet Pea, before heading to the Rainbow gathering in North Routt County.

"We came into town hoping that a natural food or locally owned produce store would be open," Siller said. "We saw Safeway was open, but we try to support local businesses."

The men said after they realized they weren't going to be able to salvage much from the Sweet Pea trashcans, that they would have probably gone back to Safeway if they hadn't been arrested.

Charle and Siller said their story has never changed.

St. James said Hieb contacted him several weeks after the incident and that Hieb said he disagreed with the charges and did not want the men to serve time in jail. But St. James said neither Hieb nor Zambrana ever indicated that he or she thought the men had not entered the store.

Roesink said St. James has an obligation to take into consideration a victim's statement, but has a greater obligation to represent the community as a whole, and in this case, the business community.

"This wasn't a Rainbow thing," Roesink said. "(St. James) is sending a message to anyone who comes into Steamboat Springs that this is what will happen if you come here and break into a business regardless of which business it is or what is taken."

Steamboat Springs police Capt. Det. Bob Del Valle agreed.

"The message is if you're going to break into a building and put the business community at risk, we should make an example of people like that," he said.

The men had the option to plead not guilty to the charges if they did not think they had committed the crime, St. James said. The men also could have pleaded guilty to a deferred felony burglary and spent 90 days in jail. Under that option, the men's record would have been cleared after completing two years of supervised probation.

The men have said they accepted the misdemeanor bec-ause they did not want to risk felony convictions. Several attorneys advised them to accept the misdemeanor and the six-month sentence.

St. James said the plea offered the men was consistent with what most young adults with no prior convictions are given in similar situations.

Roesink also said Tuesday that she is creating a citizens review committee to examine cases and offer feedback on the way those cases are handled by her office.

"We are here to represent the people of the state of Colorado and the people of this jurisdiction," she said. "I should be doing what they want and how they want law enforcement enforced. I will be listening to that."

At the same time, Roesink said she would rather be perceived as "too tough, rather than too lenient" on crime and criminals.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

OneFly 7 years, 11 months ago

St. James said that Hieb did contact him several weeks after the incident and that Hieb said he disagreed with the charges and did not want the men to serve time in jail. But St. James said neither Hieb nor Zambrana ever indicated that they thought the men had not entered the store.

This is Jonathon Hieb, co-owner of Sweet Pea, speaking on my behalf and that of Katherine Zambrana. The police report from the night of the incident does state that we wanted to press charges to the fullest extent possible, we have never denied this nor do we now. What the DA's don't want to talk about is that once we had time to do a complete inspection of the store we came to the conclusion that these guys did not steal anything of value and only commited trespassing. We then decided not to pursue the charges. We then made a decision to not fill out the proper paper work in order to press charges, thinking this thing would go away and these guys might get some community service. Two weeks later thier attorney informed me that the DA was giving them choice of a felony or jail time. I was blown away by this information and immediately contacted ADA St. James and told him I did not agree with these punishments. And thats when St. James told me he was going to send a message and make an example out of this case. So, in closing my feelings are that the DA's only want to talk about the police report, making SweetPea look responsable for all of this and do not want to discuss my conversation with St.James saying we do not agree with the punishment options.

Someone is not telling the whole story and and to me it looks like St. James.

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mkbar 7 years, 11 months ago

She whines that the newspaper didn't get all the facts yet the prosecutors office didn't even know that you were there that night. Is it more important for the news media to get all the facts or the prosecutor's office? Also in every article I've read it clearly states that Ms. Roesink and Mr. St. James refused to comment. Who's fault is it that their side of the story wasn't included? I loved the comment "We don't have to consult with anybody. We can do whatever we want with this case." I don't blame the police. I don't think anyone has thus far. I'm not sure why the chief decided to go on the defensive like he did. Aside from the officer omitting the name of a concerned party's presence from his report they handled the situation properly. You cannot hand out unjustly harsh penalties because you don't like who someone is associated with. To me the comment "I'm going to send a message to these people." indicates that's exactly what happened here.

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jonathon 7 years, 11 months ago

Why is the video tape not being played in it's entirety?

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mkbar 7 years, 11 months ago

I also have a question for the chief. You made a big deal of the time lapse between the night of the incident and Mr. Hieb's phone call to the DA's office. My question for you is when is it too late to exonerate a person if you know the charges are false?

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bolter 7 years, 11 months ago

Apparently it's too late when the DA has made up his mind to go for the kill.

All ears when the victim is angry on the night of the incident. A deaf ear when the victims have had a chance to consider the facts and what really (didn't) happen.

Are the DA's engaged in a search for the truth?

This "blame the victim" stuff is really ironic. Isn't that what defense lawyers do?

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butterat42 7 years, 11 months ago

The best option available at this point is to see that Roesink is history next year and, sorry folks, bypass the Steamboat Springs off ramp.

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Dorothywhitehawk 7 years, 11 months ago

This is BULL!!!!!!! How stupid does ole Bonnie think people are? Her and Kerry are just trying to pull their butts out of the fire. TOOOOOOOOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What they say is not credible. They are pulling the oldest trick in the book..........DISTRICT ATT. BONNIE ROESINK AND KERRY ST. JAMES ARE A JOKE ! If she had been smart, she would have cut her loses. But, NO.......she has got to show SHE HAS POWER!! I guess we can put her in the same category as St. James.....A BIG JOKE!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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butterat42 7 years, 11 months ago

It's difficult to determine which one is more pathetic; Assistant District Attorney Kerry St James, District Attorney Bonnie Roesink, or the police officer. It is clear that when Mr. Heib tells the three that athe two men DID NOT ENTER THE BUILDING, they do NOT want to hear it.

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bolter 7 years, 11 months ago

Unedited excerpt from today's meeting:

[Sweet Pea (crime victim) owner Jonathan]Hieb: So among all this other stuff that you're doing, and the mistakes that you've already made, now you're calling me a liar? Is that what you're doing?

St. James: I'm saying we disagree as to that conversation.

Hieb: You know, right now, I think, this is just my two cents. It's probably worth nothing. But right now, what you need to do, as a man, is take responsibility for your actions.

St. James: I'm sorry. I can't do that.

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mkbar 7 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Hieb watch your back buddy. Ms. Roesink appears to be a very vindictive person. I can't believe she threw out the threat of charging Ms. Zambrana like that. Why didn't Mr. St. James tell you about the secret form you needed to fill out? I wasn't aware of the Billy Kidd incident. I bet they wouldn't have dismissed the case if Juan Gonzalez took stuff and left his name. Just an observation from an outsider but the justice in steamboat springs is very arbitrary at best. It seems to depend more on who you are than what you've done.

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bolter 7 years, 11 months ago

"Elected" (unopposed) DA Bonnie Roesink: "This is a property crimes case. This is not a victims' rights case. We do not have to talk to the victim in this case. We can handle this case any way we want to handle it that we think is best for the public safety and best for the community."

Out of touch?

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outoftowner 7 years, 11 months ago

Part I - (too many characters)

Hey Bonzie Babe - did you request a new cage for the Tasmanian Devil of an ADA in your new court house furniture budget?

I was unable to load the video. But I did read the transcripts.

Having read the transcripts, regardless of what new info came out in this meeting, I still see:

The DA, the Assistant DA and the Chief of Police VERSUS the "victim" of the crime. Mr. Hieb appeared, ready to set the record straight, and they ganged up on him, cut him off, tag-teamed and double-talked him.

Hey, Mr. Hieb - how about that "who contacted who" part? How many times did you have to reiterate that YOU called HIM before he finally admitted that his "contacting you" was "returning YOUR call" - I still think you're a hero for speaking your mind, and that he is a snake who speaks with forked tongue. Kerry dear, I understand they are looking for a new Crocodile Hunter. You seem to be of the reptile sort - how about vacating your post as ADA and applying for the job? You can be with RF! (Reptile Family)

I still see that Duddly Do-right admitted to trying to make an example of these 2 men. And really, DD, get over it. You corrected Mr. Hieb to say that you wanted to make an example TO THE COMMUNITY? You wanted to make and example of *WHO** 'TO THE COMMUNITY' --? Come on now, don't look to your police reports for the answer. The answer is "THEM" - those Gud awful RF Freakin stinking bare footed dumpster divin no good sunsuvbeechin Siller and Charle.

I still see that Sweet Peas, well before the plea "bargain" was put before the judge, said WE DON'T WANT THIS. Well, this BARGAIN belongs in the basement, DD.

I still see that the DA, Ms. Roesnik, tried to displace the responsibility of her office to Mr. Hieb, saying that he should have, could have, needed to, blah blah blah.

Continued...

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outoftowner 7 years, 11 months ago

Part 2 -

If the DA and Assistant DA can't administer their offices any better than that, why do they expect Mr. Hieb to know the ins and outs of the judicial system and why should it be HIS responsibility to take time away from his business to go to the court house to correct the Taz and his Over-underling, Ms. Roesink?

But the buck still stops and snorts at Mr. St. James. Hopefully the buck will also charge the waving red flag. And Siller and Charle still got the shaft because they were RF. Whether they had to pee or not.

Ms. Roesnik stated more than once that Mr. Hieb had no rights as a victim, that it was up to St. James to handle it the way he wanted to, and yet, she then did an about face and said Mr. Hieb should have appeared in court & told the judge he didn't agree, put things in writing, made his point clear, etc. Why should he waste his time doing these things, Bonzie Babe, if he has no say & it's up to Taz to handle it the way he sees fit through his blood colored glasses? Why would you go in front of a camera to answer on behalf of your office and then say, I don't know, I'll defer, I don't have that information, I'll let Mr. St. James reply.

It's YOUR FREAKIN OFFICE LADY! WHY DON'T YOU KNOW???

Come on Bonzie Bunz. Which is it? He has a say? Or he doesn't? You can't have it both ways. Why do you let the camera catch you in double talk doo doo?

Trick B!

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outoftowner 7 years, 11 months ago

Bolter - ROFLMAO!! I can't believed I missed that!!!

Thanks!!

Hieb: You know, right now, I think, this is just my two cents. It's probably worth nothing. But right now, what you need to do, as a man, is take responsibility for your actions.

St. James: I'm sorry. I can't do that.*

CASE CLOSED!

What a moron!

Is this really on video?

I've got to get my Quicktime Player workin for this one.

That's one for:

Bail - $1000

Attorney - $5000

Transportion to court: $250

Duddly Doright on Video: PRICELESS.

For everything else, there's Mastercard

Oh my Sweet Pea Angels! That is one for the record books.

PLEEEZE tell me that's on the video!

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outoftowner 7 years, 11 months ago

Jonathon - I luv you!

Thank you for drawing the snake out of the grass!

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Scott Wedel 7 years, 11 months ago

Everyone needs to read the partical transcript. Maybe someday the paper will be able to provide the complete transcript.

Seems clear enough to me.

Owners of Sweatpea initially wanted to press charges. In the light of the next day they realized all that had happened was a little trepassing. They mistakenly thought that not submitting followup paperwork would cause the case to be dropped. When they learned that the case had not been dropped they essentially asked the DA to drop the case by suggesting fair punishment would be a day or two of community service.

Not blameless, but certainly reasonable.

DA Kerry St James gets a police report of a suspected burglary involving RF members. He decides to be tough. The crime victims fail to submit the followup report. DA does not inquire why. The crime victim contacts him and asks for minimal punishment. The DA does not inquire why. DA Kerry instead informs the crime victim that he is going to make an examle of Charle and Siller.

Responding to the newspaper article DA Kerry St James's boss, DA Roesnik says the initial police report justifies the punishment. They do not mention that the storeowners did not want jail time. The say the initial police report justifies their decision to obtain far more punishment than desired by the crime victim.

Upon being told by the store owner that the more serious complaints in the initial police report are not true, DA Kerry, DA Roesnik or police Det. Capt. Bob Del Valle all defend their actions based upon the initial police report. Not one of them recognizes that they now know the more serious complaints in the initial police report are not all true. And thus, they have now been informed that a miscarraige of justice has occurred. What is their response to this knowledge? That RF members Charle and Siller will only have to serve 108 days of the 180 sentence due to time off for good behaivor. Neither the DA's office or the police dept are concerned that two men are each going to serve over 100 days for taking pig food from a dumpster.

Certainly not blameless and most certainly unreasonable.

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1FRANKENSTEIN 7 years, 11 months ago

WHO CARES IF THEY HAD MONEY. A FELONY FOR DIGGING IN A TRASH CAN. COME ON. IF THIS HAPPENED IN DENVER THEY WOULD HAVE NEEDED TO HAVE HAVE THE OLD AIRPORT AREA BUILT TO JAIL HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE. ANYWAY WHO HAS NOT TAKEN A PAPER OR SOMETHING FROM A TRASH CAN AND HAD MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS. THIS IS PLAIN STUPID......STUPID......STUPID

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1FRANKENSTEIN 7 years, 11 months ago

IT'S A SAD DAY WHEN information is available to prove a convicted person is not guilty of the crime and the law thumbs their nose at it.

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bolter 7 years, 10 months ago

Blame the victim for not thinking like a police officer! Blame the victim for not filling out the secret form! Blame the victim for waiting too long! Blame the victim for not coming to court! Accuse the victim of filing a false report! Remind the public that it's "only" 108 days! Blame the press! Blame everyone you can think of! Never, never, never step up and admit you made a mistake. Instead, form a committee. Now everything is fine.

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outoftowner 7 years, 10 months ago

Unedited excerpt from today's meeting:

[Sweet Pea (crime victim) owner Jonathan]Hieb: So among all this other stuff that you're doing, and the mistakes that you've already made, now you're calling me a liar? Is that what you're doing?

St. James: I'm saying we disagree as to that conversation.

Hieb: You know, right now, I think, this is just my two cents. It's probably worth nothing. But right now, what you need to do, as a man, is take responsibility for your actions.

St. James: I'm sorry. I can't do that.

And this man has a position of authority????????????????????????????

This man makes decisions about the lives of other people????????????

This is ON TAPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The more you people try to cover your arses, the more hysterical this story gets.

I pee'd my pants when I saw that.

Can I come and do 6 months in your jail for it?

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outoftowner 7 years, 10 months ago

Com 'on Bonzie Babe!

I pee'd my freakin pants over Duddly Do-right admiting that he could not take responsibility for his actionsl

Please come on down here and arrest me Bonzie Babe who had NO CONTROL over her SUBORDINATES.

Bonz, Dear, really, I'm about to go whiz on the side of my neighbor's garage.... come get me pleeeeeeeze.

Ooooops. Wet Spot........................

Dammmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

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flipside 7 years, 10 months ago

EDITOR -

It is YOUR JOB now to investigate fully both sides of this, including this statemetn in your OWN story: "St. James said the plea offered the men was consistent with what most young adults with no prior convictions are given in similar situations." IS THAT TRUE???

You must investigate that for us. You can't report a statemetn from the Asst. DA without checking it out. I trust that you will do so.

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flipside 7 years, 10 months ago

Here's the Billy story - how is this (technically and legally, since that's what the DA's office is hanging its hat on) different from the RF kids? Billy went into a closed area with the intent of taking something. After he found out he couldn't legally pay for it, he took it anyway (now THAT'S intent). So IF the kids left a note at Sweet Pea, they'd be OK???

No, the true story is that justice is relative. What total BS!

RECALL ROESINK!!!


Steamboat Springs ski legend Billy Kidd was arrested last week after taking a package of buffalo steaks and a dozen pink roses from City Market while it was closed for renovations.

The incident appears to be something of a misunderstanding -- Kidd had left a note saying he planned to pay for the items.

City Market officials wrote a letter to the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office asking that all charges be dismissed, Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said Monday. Two days after Kidd was arrested, the case was dismissed, according to court documents.

The incident took place Oct. 10. City Market was closed for renovations, but construction workers and employees were inside, and the store's doors were unlocked, Rae said.

Kidd went inside the store at about 7:52 p.m. He told police that he picked up the steaks and roses but couldn't find a place to pay, Rae said. Kidd also said he talked to two City Market employees who told him he couldn't buy anything because the store was closed.

Kidd left a handwritten note at the customer service center saying he would pay for the groceries when the store reopened.

Police were contacted by security officials who saw Kidd leave without paying for the items, Rae said.

Kidd was arrested and booked at Routt County Jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary and theft. He was freed on a $5,000 bond. The case was dismissed two days later.

Kidd is the director of skiing for Steamboat Ski Area. He also is one of America's first Olympians to medal in skiing.

Kidd could not be reached for comment Monday.

Trail Daugherty, a spokesman for King Soopers/City Market, said he had no comment about the incident.

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outoftowner 7 years, 10 months ago

I sure wish I didn't have to go to work today.

Will be keeping a close eye - talk to you all tonight!!

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Ivan 7 years, 10 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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remysmith 7 years, 10 months ago

Instead of blaming the paper for one-sided reporting, the victim for inaccurate reporting (suggesting criminal negligence), and the community (to include a local criminal attorney) for not being smart enough to understand the law, Roesink should have taken the high ground and delivered the following:

"I know this situation has drawn attention. But I wanted to explain, from the DA's perspective how we got here. At the time the police received the report, it was believed to be a burglary. Once police arrived, and based on evidence from the storeowners that Charle and Siller likely entered the store, the police made a burglary felony arrest.

"Once Mr. St. James' office received the reports, he moved to file the felony charges which he believed to be supported by the facts.

"Because neither Charle or Siller had a record, the ADA proposed, through their attorney, a plea deal where they could elect to plead to a deferred felony burglary charge or a misdemeanor charge with 6 months of jail. The two defendants, with full knowledge of their actions, and the opportunity to consult with counsel, took the misdemeanor conviction instead of the felony. Throughout the process they also could have gone to trial on the felony charge. This is the usual approach used in plea bargaining throughout the state of Colorado.

"Unfortunately, it was at this point that communication broke down between the victim(s) and the ADA's office. When Mr. Heib contacted Mr. St. James after hearing of the plea bargain, he expressed strong reservations about the results. Our office bears responsibility for this. We did not ask the right questions of Mr. Heib, which should have included questions about why he did not complete the follow-on witness statements AND why he was contacting us this late in the process. Had we been more sensitive to his needs it is likely that justice would have been better served, not only for Charle and Siller, but also for the community. For this I assume full responsibility.

"Only over the holiday weekend did we become fully aware that other factors should have influenced our decisions. Only today have all the parties been in a room together where we have had an opportunity to hear all sides, first-hand. Given this additional information, and in conjunction with Mr. St. James and Charle and Siller's attorney, we will consider what legal alternatives and remedies are available."

Commentary: Clearly, this is not perfect, and unlikely given the current regime, but certainly better than the shrill and defensive approach Roesink took. Fortunately for the 14th Judicial District she highlighted the arrogance and intransigence in an office pledged to serve the community and the interests of justice. If the ADA's steamroller approach is business-as-usual (which it is), Roesink must let St. James go. If she does not remove St. James, by whatever appropriate means, she should be recalled.

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Momabear 7 years, 10 months ago

This has made me even more sure of my organization's decision to remove Steamboat Springs from the list of places we were considering for our convention. I hope those of you that live in this city can clean up your District Attorney's office. It sounds like both Roesink and Kerry need to be removed.

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steamvent 7 years, 10 months ago

This whole farce really exposes a huge problem we have in our area ... that of people on ballots unopposed. It is unfortunate that more qualified people don't step up in order to provide an intelligent choice instead of someone like our incompetent DA sliding into a critical job without participating in public forums. Too bad someone can't dedicate the resources necessary to investigate Roesink's background and find the rotting garbage in her past. As for St. James, it is pretty evident he is a candidate for a mental health assessment ... surely he was abused as a child, consistently picked last in PE and caught strangling the family kitten and punished with a six month grounding ... he is dedicating his "mature" years to getting even.

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bolter 7 years, 10 months ago

The DA led off with a stinging criticism of the press for failing to quote the police reports as fact. Based on the facts as we now know them, the paper got it right.

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angelina_jelly 7 years, 10 months ago

Steamvent, you made a very astute point that it is a shame that there were no other candidates for such an important position as DA for the prior election.

Many people are aware that there was at least one well qualified person who intended to throw his hat in the ring. Unfortunately, that person was the target of what was--in my OPINION-- a politically driven smear campaign--scratch that---it was an investigation--the purpose of which was to keep the current regime in place, unopposed.

That is just my opinion...

Unlikely that the DA's race will be unopposed next time around--even though (in my OPINION) being a DA seems like thankless job that would result in a pay cut for any experienced trial attorney.

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TOS 7 years, 10 months ago

I have to say my sympathy for them is starting to dwindle.

"We came into town hoping that a natural food or locally owned produce store would be open," Siller said. "We saw Safeway was open, but we try to support local businesses."

Huh?!?! That kills the hunger argument. I can see not wanting to go to McDonalds, but they could have still gotten their veggies.

Instead of buying them from Safeway, they wanted to check a dumpster first?

Plus they went past two barricades to get to the trash:

"No. We never entered the store," Charle said. "We stepped over a rope, leaned over a (chest-high) fence and took some rotting produce out of a box.

6 months is excessive, but these two idiots are not with out blame. They had other options, but went fo the barricaded dumpster instead.

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digg_user 7 years, 10 months ago

JEEZ when the Russians look at this like a hard case, that's pretty bad.

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lunasol75 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow!!!

www. collegehumor.com has linked to this story. This is HUGE!!! collegehumor.com is a gargantuan national site which caters (obviously) to the college crowd. There should be plenty of support and fiery opposition to the actions of "those in power" here!!!

Yay!!

Peace,

H

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Ivan 7 years, 10 months ago

JEEZ when the Russians look at this like a hard case, that's pretty bad.

My guess is that different Russians see this in different ways. Not the least of these, I assure you, is the anti-US propaganda purposes such cases serve (and serve well..)... But that's a long offtopic.. ;)

Getting back to the story, my guess is that if these two guys aren's released VERY soon AND with an apology, they'll have good grounds to sue the authorities for ___ (lawyer types fill in please). I imagine very soon some profile attorneys may be contacting them with an offer to work for a percentage of the damage charge settlement fee.

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jeffphayden 7 years, 10 months ago

I have been following this whole story and frankly this is absurd and a waste of taxpayers money!! As a resident of New York City who loves to ski I can assure that I will never ski in Steamboat Springs again. I am also urging my co-workers and fellow skiers in the New York Metro to do the same! If this kind of justice is being served to average middle class citizens I can't imagine what is happening to the homeless or less fortunate individuals that remove discarded food from a garbage container in order to survive!

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digg_user 7 years, 10 months ago

I will revisit in posting this on Digg again, the other digg story got 12,000 views but not enough "diggs" to go to their main page.

With the development, and Mr. Hieb's comments...I'm sure that the next submission will get on their front page.

Note to the pilot, expect much more traffic than a few tens of thousands of hits.

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jonathon 7 years, 10 months ago

Please, if you feel you need to contact Sweet Pea concerning this case and please feel free to do so, use this # 970 846.1907 Thank you, Jonathon Hieb

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flipside 7 years, 10 months ago

Jonathon,

Why is Katherine Zambrana so quiet? Is what the DA said true? Did she scream at the young men while they were in the back of the cop car? Did she demand they be fully prosecuted?

Kerry St. James is a heavy-handed hyporcite, no doubt. And he should be run out of office for this and many other mistakes.

But it also seems like Sweet Pea's ownership is trying to smell like roses even though the facts that are coming to light make it seem like there's plenty of stink on you guys as well.

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wow 7 years, 10 months ago

St. James told Hieb he was going to make an example of the Rainbow people, even though he knew that there was no serious problem and the store owner wanted leniency.

This is an act of political repression, plain and simple.

To make things right, the first thing St. James and his boss could do would be to ask the young Rainbow men to withdraw their guilty plea and he could support it.

Will they do that? Only if we keep their feet to the fire.

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isobel 7 years, 10 months ago

Hello all--I just wanted to get back to the facts. The DA and ADA are now trying to cover their butts by back tracking to the police report which has been recanted by the Sweet Pea owners. That police report was written up at night when the female co-owner was under duress, frantic and not thinking clearly. In the light of the next day they could see that all was normal in the store, nothing taken, disheveled, or broken. They DID tell the ADA this but he chose to move ahead with a felony burglary anyway. They were prosecuted for what they DIDN'T do. The DA and ADA know they didn't break into that store. Remember---no fingerprints, no broken locks, no mess, nothing missing--NO EVIDENCE at all except for this womans initial claims which were recanted by BOTH owners. I would love to see the photos of the pathetic vegetables that they took from the trash. One fact that hasn't been out there is that the asparagus they got was 2 single spears, not 2 bunches. Who would break into a store and take the miserable amounts of food they took??

This is a very clear case of RAIL ROADED!!

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jonathon 7 years, 10 months ago

Flipside, You have to understand that Katherine is a very humble person and hates to draw attention to herself, she is very upset over all of this and has simply asked me to speak for both of us. I hope you can respect her wishes. As far as Katherine yelling at the victims, this is true we have never denied this. But what everyone must understand is this, she yelled at the guys the night the incident occured, we were both very pissed off, we actually thought we had been ripped off. We later figure out that was only a trespass and decided not to press charges and called the ADA and told him we did'nt agree with the choice of punishments once we figured out what really happened, trespass. Jonathon Hieb

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Snowhugger 7 years, 10 months ago

As a local, active member of the community, and a tax paying one as well I am ashamed at how my tax dollars have been wasted in this community. This is just another example of wasted tax payer dollars, but let as look closer and see what we have really lost. A boy-cot would affect many in this community, but mostly us the workers hurting us in our wallets. Unfortunately this is a very effective tool, but the irony is that we deserve it! One that would be really hard Not to support!! As a proud local member of the Rainbow Family I am embarrassed and deeply saddened by both events leading up to the gathering and events that continue today! What started as a bad PR game now has ended in the same thing, but only this time the table is turned, and the town may find it side on the other side of the fence. The blame game works only if we accept the blame ourselves learn from our mistakes and move on. For the weeks prior to the gathering the entire area was in a roar about the gathering. some of it good , but most of it not. I tried to easy locals fears in Clark, that it would be ok. I told many a peoples that it was the "bad seeds" giving the family a bad name, but that you couldn't have the good without the bad. Feed by rumors from the USFS , many of us feared a attack from the hippies! A replay of the SCI shows (I wish I would have been here, I would have been one of the "good" fans!) My local friends were locking down their ranches.
This was to be my first gathering, a event I had planned for months. Not till the mid of June did l learn it would be "official" here in Routt County. I set up camp on June 20 and stayed on and off till the road closure "forced" me in. I dug latrines, helped haul in ton's of gear and made my self a productive member of this community. I stayed well into the cleanup as well. Where was the press on these days? Like I told the Pilot in a interview back then; I tried to emphasize how important it was for this "early" arrivals "support crew" to establish a safe and healthy camp, before the arrival of the masses. Not only to ensure the safety of other family members, but the environment as well. (I was too positive I guess, because only my picture made it in)
I prayed the "drainbows" wouldn't give the real rainbows a bad name. I prayed that my sisters and brothers would behave in a respective manner and leave no trace. I prayed for their to be no fires! I prayed for no violence! I prayed for the trees so that we may have clean air to breath! I prayed for their to be fresh water, not just for myself, but my children! I prayed for my friends! I prayed for peace! I prayed for world enlightenment! I prayed with the birds, and countless many other "rainbows". Sounding corny, perhaps, but the power of prayer should never be underestimated!! Some of us prayer in churches some of us don't.. That is America at it best! I felt revived and refreshed when I came back.

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Snowhugger 7 years, 10 months ago

To see each other as the fellow human beings; sisters and brothers, is such a simple yet beautiful truth. Like it our not we all came from the same place and will return their. Some of us learning lessons on the way, some of us not. That is the way of life! The only thing we can really do is hope and prayer for our families and friends! It took a long time for me to find home, but I did and I can't wait for the next one! God bless the rainbow family!!

For some of us who have chosen to move to Steamboat Springs it is a sacrifice.  Paying higher taxes, paying higher prices in both food and Gas, but we choose to stay.   Hard for some  (Not St. James im sure) As a community we should feel ashamed and embarrassed as to how our elected leaders reacted to the Rainbow family!   Folks these gatherings have been occurring for over 35 years.  They are not new.  What is new is the police state that has evolved to maintain "order"  A heartfelt thank you to the community members who did extend their hearts, hands and car doors!!  For those that closed their minds and hearts I welcome you to the gathering next year!  It could change your life!  What's so wrong with change?  Seems like the status quo fears change.  Why?   My thought's and prayers now go out to the young men at the center of this. In fact I feel terrible that they have been stuck in jail all this time.  On several occasion I went to the Routt county Jail and asked about "people in jail from the Gathering"  I was trying to get legal advice out to them.  I was never told these gentlemen were in the jail.  In fact I was told their was only two folks left and they were waiting on extradition back to California. I also do hope other's learn from their mistakes!  If you call yourself a rainbow and you act like a criminal you deserve what you get.  Just because you are a Rainbow, doesn't make it right!! Stealing is still stealing!  Even if you "think"  the camp is deserted!  My tent as well as a friends disappeared during the clean up.  A real shame that some of the rainbows are criminals, but that is the nature of Ying and Yang and I will continue the fight for what is right.

Perhaps I should have prayed for understanding from the local community? I saw very few locals at the gathering. In fact some of the ones I saw were themselves "looking for drugs". Should we judge the rest of our Community on these individuals? As a sober member of this community I think not! The Billy the Kid incident is a perfect example of the inner workings of our community. Double standard for sure. Mr. St. James I respectively think you our out of touch with your community!! We have a place that is run by big $ it is called Aspen or Vail! Perhaps you would fit in better their, and your "example setting" could be more understood!! Peace

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peabody85 7 years, 10 months ago

The only positive outcome of this matter (in addition to seeing Ms. Roesink and Kerry leave) would be that we patronize Sweet Pea. The owners have been victimized enough by the prosecution.

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TOS 7 years, 10 months ago

Flipside, What are you talking about?

But it also seems like Sweet Pea's ownership is trying to smell >like roses even though the facts that are coming to light make it >seem like there's plenty of stink on you guys as well.

Sweet Pea's ownership has done a lot for two idiots that crossed two barricades to get to their dumpster. Giles and David didn't take food because they were hungry. Read the above article, read their qoutes, Giles and David had other options.

Sweet Pea's ownership has the right to angry at people that steal from them.

I can see being angry at the ADA. I can see being mad at Giles and David. Jonathon has done a lot for those idiots. Far more then most would have done.

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digg_user 7 years, 10 months ago

Mr Hieb, I'd really like to contact you and post such under a blog, will I be able to reach you at that number during evening hours?

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jonathon 7 years, 10 months ago

Digg, feel free to contact me any time. Jonathon

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flipside 7 years, 10 months ago

Jonathon,

Thanks for your response.

You are absolutely to be commened for standing up the way you have. You haven't shied away from any accusation - either it's bs or it happened and you admit it. Makes the other side sound more and more like liars and cowards (two adjectives I don't want describing my legal advocates)

Total class, Jonathon, thanks so much. Sorry you and Katherine are having to endure this because of a hypocritical, defensive, power-happy DA's office. You obviously deserve better, but you are handling it in the best way possible.

I can't stand people who aren't strong enough to admit mistakes, like Roesink and St. James.

EITHER KERRY GOES OR BONNIE GOES (OR BOTH) - No other alternative is acceptable.

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John_Ashby 7 years, 10 months ago

Steamboat Springs - A 52-year-old Littleton man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of repeatedly punching a 16-year-old girl in the head and neck after a collision at Steamboat Ski Area.

Police Capt. Joel Rae said the 16-year-old Steamboat Springs girl said she was snowboarding down Headwall ski trail when she ran over the skis of an 8-year-old girl. Both girls were knocked to the ground.

Randell Berg, the father of the 8-year-old, saw the collision and confronted the 16-year-old, Rae said. At that point, Berg is thought to have punched the teenager several times in the head and neck and to have shouted profanities at her, Rae said.

The 16-year-old told police she was wearing a helmet, and she was not seriously injured. She said she was sore from the alleged attack.

Witnesses intervened and restrained Berg, police said. Witnesses also confirmed the 16-year-old's story, police said.

Rae said police interviewed Berg before arresting him. Berg told police that after he made sure his daughter was OK, "he just lost control when his daughter got hit," Rae said.

The accident occurred near the base of the ski mountain, where Steamboat Springs police have jurisdiction.

Rae said he has never heard of such an incident.

"We have fights all the time, but this is ridiculous," Rae said.

Berg was taken to Routt County Jail and booked on charges of third-degree assault and disorderly conduct. He was released Monday on $1,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court on Feb. 14.

Berg agreed to plea guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault. In exchange for the guilty plea, Jensen told Garrecht that Berg would serve one year of unsupervised probation, take at least eight hours of anger management classes, perform 80 hours of community service and serve a two-day jail sentence.

How is it that this guy gets a slap on the wrist and two RF members go to jail.

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Dorothywhitehawk 7 years, 10 months ago

So, ole Bonnie girl says,"we can handle this case any way we want to handle it." and ole Kerry boy says, "He won't take responsibility for his actions". Well, I guess if you want to make a laughing stock of yourselves, you are doing one heck of a good job. What is sad, is that you are hurting the people who pay your salary.(I should say overpay your salary). You are hurting the town and county by your actions. How does it feel to be the laughing stock of the country? Oops, I mean the world. Because, as you know by now, the story has been picked up internationaly. hahaha Songs will be written about you. heeheehee In fact I am writing one now. But, seriously, you are hurting the town by your actions. But, we know you don't care. You have proven that. I feel sorry for the people in your district. But, as always, many of us here want to thank you again for one of the best laughs we have ever had. I think Sweet Pea Produce Company and the stores and ski resorts should be thinking about suing both of you.

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TOS 7 years, 10 months ago

Jonathon, Did they actually go into the store?

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cheesehead 7 years, 10 months ago

Now I'm no lawyer here, but I think when someone offers you a bad deal you don't take it. I don't like our ADA, but these two guys pleaded guilty and accepted the sentence. If you take the case to court everything is out in the open and would probably get dropped. I can't understand why these two didn't fight the case.

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jonathon 7 years, 10 months ago

379664, how dare you say I was'nt there the night this incident happened, you ask the police officers that called us if I was there or not. You really need to be careful what you say, if your not sure about the truth, then keep your mouth shut! If I had filled out that report that wuold have meant I was pressing charges.I fell my personal phone call to St.James explained my position clearly. Jonathon

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TOS 7 years, 10 months ago

isobel, I just reread through Jonathon's responses. I do not see where he said they did not go into the store.

When I first heard of this, I to thought your brother got railroaded. The more I learn, the more I think your brother was an idiot. Forget the ADA, forget the DA, there is the witness. The witness's account means more to me then anything else. They have nothing to gain by lying.

Your brother wasn't starving, it wasn't the only place to get food. Giles and David were arrogant fools. They felt they deserved "organic produce". Urinating on the building just shows their arrogance. What they did was sleazy.

IMO, Giles owes you, your grandmother, EricBinVermont. . . an apology for lying to you. They also owe Jonathon an apology, sounds like he and his partner got a bad rap on this. I still can't figure out why he is working so hard on your brother's behalf. I can only assume the phone must be ringing off the hook with threatening phone calls from Rfers. If it was me, I would refer to the police record and let it go at that.

Life is hard. It requires taking responsibility for your actions. Time Giles and David took responsibility for what they did.

I can understand you are angry, but channel it to where it belongs. Give Giles hell.

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jonathon 7 years, 10 months ago

Let me clear this up, these guys never went into ths retail side of my store, they did jump the fence into my storage area. my storage area does contain items of value, but these guys did not take anything of value. They only took pig food, THIS IS WHY I'VE SAID SEVERAL TIMES THEY ONLY COMMITED TRESPASS, WHICH IS A CRIME, BUT NOT A CRIME THAT SHOULD GET YOU JAIL OR A FELONY. Jonathon

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jimbo 7 years, 10 months ago

who were the laywers who represented the accused?

Nice job... way to advise them and help them out....

Does anybody know the name of the attorney's for the defendants?

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Piper 7 years, 10 months ago

Before this story had even hit the press, several of us Rainbow hippies had lit up our communication networks: internet, phone, word-of-mouth.

Though there are only 15,000-25,000 of us at any given gathering, I'd estimate our US numbers at over 150,000. And we have lots of friends, most of whom--like us--are travellers. This story is going to hit the concert circuit, the biker rallies, the RV clubs, and quite a few others.

Steamboat Springs' tourist industry is about to have a serious lull. There's been talk about protests too. How about 2,000+ dumpster divers coming in on the same day? That would be fun, and I doubt the jail's big enough to house everyone. Would be great if it coincided with one of Steamboat's big tourist weekends, huh?

We're used to the Feds pulling this crap up in the woods, where their antics are likely to go unreported, but low-budget locals, in town, right in the face of the media? Kind of dumb.

I'm just glad to hear the store owners decrying the government. And hey, you guys, if a protest does come out of this, or the number of snowboarders drops significantly this winter, remember it when you vote. Your DA's office could have handled this differently. As they said, it was up to them, they didn't have to confer with anyone.

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cheesehead 7 years, 10 months ago

what is there to protest? these two guys plead GUILTY and ACCEPTED the sentence. If you're innocent you reject the offer and go to court.

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Dorothywhitehawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I think that the Store tried to get St. James and Roesink to listen, but they were so eager to "hang" these guys that they didn't care what the truth was. Truth, Justice, and Honor are words to live by. Something, that the DA's office don't know anything about. Also, if your businesses suffer you know who to blame.

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intowner 7 years, 10 months ago

OK, some of you need to get a grip. I live here and anyone else (who was not an RFer) who had no criminal background, would have gotten a deferred misdemeanor and probation -- probably unsupervised. Furthermore, the "we don't care what the victim says" is bunk. The DA's office dropped the charges against Billy Kidd (famous guy)because City Market (large corporation) said, "aw, gee, let's not go after him." He, too, committed burglary. And someone I know who saw his "IOU note" said it was illegible -- you could not tell who signed it.

This is all about equal treatment. If these guys were minorities in a protected class, they would have civil rights claims for being treated differently based on their affiliation with that class.

C'mon Kerry: show us where other first time offenders on similar facts were faced with similar options. Just because you are right (from a defendant's side) doesn't mean you necessarily risk trial. There are no slam dunks.

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