St. James' letter agreeing to men's release

Advertisement

— September 6, 2006

Wayne Westphale
Box 773838
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

RE: People v. David Siller, case no. 06CR110
People v. Giles Charle, case no. 06CR111

Dear Wayne:

I write this letter to you after much deliberation. As you are aware, you and I negotiated a disposition in the above styled cases at arm's length. Your clients knew the facts available to the State and evaluated the risks of the State being able to prove these facts. They decided to avoid a potential felony burglary conviction at trial by choosing between two negotiated options: one a deferred felony, guaranteeing them a dismissal of the felony charge in two years if they kept out of trouble; and the other a misdemeanor conviction with six months in jail (108 days with good time credit). After consulting a number of lawyers and reviewing the facts of the case they chose to settle their cases rather than to plead not guilty and require the State to present its facts to twelve citizens of the community.

Your clients stood before Judge Garrecht and were asked if they knowingly and intelligently were pleading guilty to trespass. They told the judge that they were. Judge Garrecht asked them if they were being coerced or forced to enter pleas of guilty and they told him that they were not. Judge Garrecht had the authority to reject the negotiated settlement if he believed that the disposition was unfair. He did not.

Subsequent to the entry of their pleas and sentencing, the victim in this case has come forward and indicated that, although your clients entered the store, the produce that they took was of no value. This new information is directly contrary to one of the shop owners verbal and written statements that her examination of the produce revealed it was fresh and that she valued what they took at $15 retail. One of the owners has now publicly stated that the notoriety that this case has received has hurt his business and caused him to lose money. He wants it to be publicly known now that, contrary to their initial request for vigorous prosecution, they do not now want to have anything to do with this case.

As you know, this case has received great media coverage. The bulk of it was one sided and portrayed this as an instance in which two hungry men removed spoiled food from a dumpster. This is contrary to what one of the victims told the police and wrote in her own words. It is contrary to what an independent eyewitness saw and it is contrary to what the circumstantial physical evidence shows. Nevertheless, it is what a portion of the public believes and that belief is being fueled by the victims desire now to distance themselves from the case and to ensure that their business does not suffer. I cannot review the facts available to the State with every member of the public. I cannot review the facts available to the State with every member of the public. You and other lawyers did so with your clients and they made a decision based upon those available facts.

It does now, however, appear that based upon incomplete and incorrect information a portion of the community has committed to a view of this case and its outcome. My office will not be able to change this misperception. It is clear this portion of the community reacting to that misinformation wishes a different outcome. Parenthetically, I would note that now that all of the information contained in the police investigation has become available, many people who disagreed with the disposition now believe it was appropriate. While my office continues to persist in its contention that this was a burglary case and that your clients unlawfully entered the interior of the store we are willing to compromise our position and hope that the message still remains that it is unacceptable to burglarize a local business. As such, we will agree to a stipulated reduction of sentence in these two cases to the time that the defendants have served in the Routt County Jail. I have prepared a stipulation reflecting this agreement. Please let me know when you are available to sign it and present it to the Court.

Pax Vobiscum,

Kerry St. James
Assistant District Attorney

Comments

jonathon 7 years, 11 months ago

Kerry St. James, I did'nt think you had it in you. Thank you for doing this and listening to the people of Routt Co.

                                 Sincerely, Jonathon Hieb
0

mkbar 7 years, 11 months ago

"Subsequent to the entry of their pleas and sentencing, the victim in this case has come forward and indicated that, although your clients entered the store, the produce that they took was of no value."

He's still lying. Mr. Hieb contacted him prior to their sentencing or signing the plea. I can't believe people here put up with this.

0

Dorothywhitehawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I wouldn't believe one word that St. James said. I am glad he has finally agreed to release these men. But, it sure is a little late for his career. I believe that Kerry St. James is not telling the truth of the whole matter. St. James and Roesink needs to be investigated about their actions. Not just in this case, but other cases. All their cases are suspect.

0

cheesehead 7 years, 11 months ago

wow. Amazing how fast the DA's office can do a complete 180 on this one. Obviously Kerry got a talkin to from someone with lots of money and power, seeing as how those are the only people he listens to. I still want to know what the hell really happened. its obvious everyone involved is hiding something in order to save their asses.

0

bolter 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Kerry, and there are WMD's in Iraq, too. These guys would still be in jail if it had not been for us uninformed people acting on misinformation! But what about the hundreds of low-profile cases? It will be business as usual at the DA's office as long as Kerry is running amok with no adult supervision.

0

isobel 7 years, 11 months ago

THANK YOU TO ALL THE GOOD CITIZENS OF STEAMBOAT SPRINGS WHO SUPPORTED OUR SON.

THANK YOU TO JONOTHAN AT SWEET PEA GROCERY FOR BEING SO COURAGEOUS AND STANDING UP TO THE DA.

THE CHARLE FAMILY

0

leannedrumen 7 years, 11 months ago

St. James is so full of it. I wonder what he sees when he looks in the mirror. Golly, do you think he will try to be a Senator of Colo.? How about Gov.? NOT!!!!! I wonder if he is hearing the toilet flush on his career? lol.

0

1FRANKENSTEIN 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think i can get a room in town. Do you think I'll be O.K. if i crash in a Dumpster overnight? I'm looking to pick up a girl and head out right away...........

0

georgelstarr 7 years, 11 months ago

All the cases this DA's office should be reviewed.

0

George 7 years, 11 months ago

I'd like to know where the judge's judicial independence was in this case. Is St. James and the judge so entangled that the bench is incapable of making an independent decision. Why did the judge not realize there was extremism in St. James' proposed settlement?

0

jimbo 7 years, 11 months ago

I also believe Judge Garrecht is a power abusing idiot as well...throw them all out!!!!!

0

D_Icer 7 years, 11 months ago

Kerry St. James is a coward and a chump. The only reason why he lowered the sentence was to save his own ass! This Idiot needs to step down and get someone who can think for themselves and is not influenced by the media to make the right decisions. Shame on you St. James and the whole DA's Office.

0

peabody85 7 years, 11 months ago

Several comments: (1) Kerry NEVER negotiates any case at "arms length". He dictates his offer and his response if one attempts to review the offer (assuming that you can find him as he hides in his back office) is "take it or leave it". There simply is NO discussion. (2) Did Kerry inform the defendants of the exculpatory evidence (that the victims opposed the offer AND that the defendants did NOT break into the building but had trespassed by jumping over a fence (a misdemeanor) as he is mandated to do?; (3) Kerry says that the defendants contacted a numbrer of lawyers who advised to take the misdemeanor. One of the defendants contacted me and I bluntly told him that Kerry will not discuss an offer that it is "take it or leave it" and that even trying to deal with Kerry is such an unpleasant experience that I would not take the case as there would be nothing that I could do to help the potential client; (4) Kerry then blames Judge Garrecht for not rejecting the plea; (5) Kerry says that SUBSEQUENTLY to the entry of the pleas and sentencing that the victim came foward with new information (if this is true then Kerry was obligated to inform the defendants and dismiss the case or revisit his offer). This is directly contrary to the victim calling Kerry PRIOR to the plea with the exculpatory information; (6) Kerry continues to blame the misinformed media and the public and to hold to the notion that there was a burglary in spite of the victim's statement that the defendants DID NOT enter the building ( which is required as an essential element for a burglary to be committed). Kerry's letter (and his bosses' position) never once acknowledges that his offer was erreous and that they erred in the handling of this matter. Frankly, this is the Karl Rove approach, i.e., never admit being wrong. The bottom line is that Kerry's letter is full of it. It is a self-serving piece of garbage. He (and Bonzie) should be gone.

0

NotFromSteamBoat 7 years, 11 months ago

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

0

jimbob311 7 years, 11 months ago

I strongly agree with sanctioning the DA, the Prosecutor and Judge Garrecht but no one has mentioned the abuse of power and bullying by (some of) Steamboats finest...

0

NotFromSteamBoat 7 years, 11 months ago

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

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.