Plea agreements pending in alleged kidnapping case

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Two Hayden men accused of kidnapping a 17-year-old boy and threatening to shoot him in an alleged dispute about a stolen handgun are poised to accept plea agreements next week.

Joey Allen Vreeman, 22, and Kenneth Edward Muhme, 30, originally were charged with felony counts of second-degree kidnapping, menacing and robbery, and misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief. Additional charges were added in December: four counts of felony aggravated robbery and two counts of crime of violence, which would trigger a mandatory prison sentence if they are found guilty.

Muhme is prepared to plead guilty to menacing, a Class 5 felony; and receive a sentence of supervised probation and an undetermined jail sentence, his attorney, Larry Combs, said Friday.

For his plea agreement, Vreeman plans to plead guilty to kidnapping, a Class 2 felony; and an additional charge of third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor, his attorney, Kris Hammond, said Friday. Vreeman would receive a four-year deferred judgment sentence on the felony, during which he would be on supervised probation, and he would serve 120 days in jail on the misdemeanor, Hammond said.

Both men delayed issuing guilty pleas Friday morning, because they will not be allowed to be out on bail after doing so. If the court accepts the plea agreements next week, remaining charges against the two men will be dropped.

In August 2008, Vreeman reported a handgun stolen from his residence, and indicated to the Hayden Police Department that he suspected the alleged kidnapping victim and another juvenile took it.

Vreeman and Muhme are said to have confronted the boy at a rest stop bathroom just east of the Moffat-Routt county line on U.S. Highway 40 on Sept. 5. After putting the boy in a chokehold, the two allegedly carried him out of the bathroom and put him in a vehicle, after rifling through his pockets and taking cash, a pocket knife and sunglasses, according to sworn affidavits.

Vreeman then allegedly drove to Elkhead Reservoir, where he threatened to shoot the boy with a shotgun, according to sworn affidavits. During the drive, Muhme allegedly pulled a knife and threatened to use it if the boy "did something stupid," and repeatedly threatened to beat him with a sock full of quarters, the affidavits state.

Vreeman was arrested Sept. 5 by Hayden police, and Muhme was arrested the following day by the Routt County Sheriff's Office. They were released from Routt County Jail on $20,000 bonds Sept. 8.

Muhme will appear in Routt County Court at 1 p.m. Friday for arraignment. Vreeman is scheduled to appear at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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