Deal is made in Steamboat alcohol incident

Man gets jail for buying for teens


— After a series of underage drinking events, the Routt County District Attorney’s Office and the Routt County Sheriff’s Office have a plea agreement with jail time for Ryan Atkinson.

Atkinson, 25, was accused of and pleaded guilty to providing alcohol to a group of minors at a party Jan. 10 on Routt County Road 14B.

According to a plea agreement signed by Atkinson and his attorney, he will plead guilty to two charges related to providing alcohol to minors. One charge is a straight guilty plea, and Atkinson agreed to spend one year in the Routt County Jail. The other charge will carry a deferred judgment for three years. Four additional and similar charges were dismissed as part of the agreement. The agreement also includes a $750 donation to Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

The judge will review the plea agreement at 9 a.m. Aug. 11 and can make changes and approve or not approve the deal.

Atkinson was suspected of providing alcohol to seven people at the party, including four who were younger than 18. A 17-year-old girl at the party reportedly fell backward from a balcony at the house and landed on snow-covered concrete.

The girl reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.286, more than three times the legal limit to drive, which is 0.08. The girl was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and later flown by air ambulance to a Denver-area hospital, where she was in a coma.

Sheriff’s Office investigator Ken Klinger said the girl has made a partial recovery.

“The girl, she is doing much, much better,” he said. “She still has tons of issues, as you might suppose, but she is getting more mobility back.”

Klinger said the girl and her mother have moved out of state.

Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle said the plea would carry real jail time — one year with credit for time served.

“We just thought that, based on the circumstances of the case, he should be held responsible,” Prindle said. “Even though he wasn’t the direct cause of this girl’s injuries, if she hadn’t been drinking, this probably wouldn’t have happened.”

A call to Atkinson’s attorney, Kris Hammond, was not returned Friday.

Another case involving underage drinking also will be in court Thursday. Because it is a juvenile case, the court records were not available for public review. Prindle also declined to discuss the case.


kathy foos 6 years, 9 months ago

Good job prosecuting this.The girl will have a brain injury for life Ill bet,like my son Jules who was in an alcohol related accident in 2007,when he was 18,someone bought him that alcohol and no one got prosecuted for buying it for him,even though it was known who did it,Then a month later my other son Sam Hedemark age 17 was given Alcohol and was exlpoded on the oil tank and killed,no problem. He is dead and no one ever got charged for buying that booze for him.. Looking at the remaining uninjured son of mine,he was was charged at 18 for contributing to the deliquincy of a minor(16) and got sent to prison in Trinidad for that ,moral of the story is, my children get prosecuted to the fullest extant of the law,But...when they are killed or brain damaged by another person providing the drink,its O.K.I dont think anyone knows or cares how the brain injuired girl is really doing,well she is lucky to be alive and will probably never get the chance for a normal life,like Jules.At least someone is answering up for it.Try a public campaign to stop the people who probably bought booze last night for some teenager to get drunk on.Maybe a few parents buying it for them,?.I have always told my kids not to drink,have never bought any for them ,dont allow it in my house ,and I still am in this position,put there by someone from the public that decided to buy the crap for my kid.There are still guilty people runnung around doing the same because law inforcement doesnt inforce the law.People cover up to save someone,you buy the booze for a minor,see if I care that you go to prison,to the ones that bought it for my kids,be glad its not the old west and Im sorta civilized,Just barely,or I would take care of the situation ,but you are protected by the law .


nodui 6 years, 9 months ago

Sun iam sorry for your loss. The Police do their part, its the DA and the Judges who refuse to inconvience these people who are breaking the laws. The Judges and DAs are afraid to sentence people to any sort of jail time. I know its a total joke. Anywhere else and some of these people would get a lengthy sentence. This whole country is being run by a bunch of bleeding heart liberals who dont want to violate someones civil rights.


theDustyone 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow Really? What ever happened to taking a little personal responsibility? Of course I am deeply saddened by what happened to Nastasia. I would wish that not even on my worst enemy. With that said how about we take a look at all the facts before we condemn an otherwise good hearted young adult based solely on the facts you have read in the newspaper. Because as we all know, the media very rarely gets the story right on their first, second, or third try. So I think the most glaring fact that was omitted from the story that was printed was that the victim had been drinking long before she arrived out at the premises where the accident occurred. So that brings up the first and most obvious question: Could this have happened even if she had not had access to alcohol via the defendant? Absolutely. Especially if one is arguing the point that it was her impaired judgement due to the alcohol that caused the accident. Secondly, the defendant didn't buy the alcohol for the minors, he had bought the alcohol for his Mother earlier in the night but had not yet given it to her as it was quite late at night when he returned home and didn't want to wake her. And the other kids being kids, thought that because it was sitting there that they absolutely every right in the world to drink it. By the time the defendant figured out that the minors were drinking the alcohol it was too late and the bottles had already been opened. But where the defendant's biggest lapse in judgement was, was in not immediately taking all of the alcohol away that was supposed to be for his mom. So either way a crime was committed, some alcohol was consumed by minors and whether he intentioned it to be or not, it was made accessible to them by the defendant. So in this sense yes he is guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. (continued in next comment)


theDustyone 6 years, 8 months ago

With all that said here is the problem I have with both the justice system and with the way we as community think. Whenever someone gets hurt or wronged in our society (especially when the incident is going to cost money to reconcile) we always look for justice. Although, I think a better word than justice would be "vengeance." Because both you and I and everybody who will read this knows that similar acts like this occur every weekend in every State in the US. The only difference is, not every weekend does a girl end up in the hospital in a coma as a result of it. So all of a sudden when someone gets hurt, our attitude turns into somebody better go to prison for a long long time for this! And if you don't believe me I'll prove it to you: Not even a month later this exact situation occurred where a party with 30-40 underage teens was busted after someone called the cops because a girl was passed out in her car with a BAC of .284. Several adults and young adults were present at this party and did nothing to stop the consumption of alcohol by minors. So what's the difference? Oh well nobody got seriously hurt at this party, and therefore no tickets were given out and nobody was charged with anything!!! You call that justice? By the way here is a link to the story if you would like to read it yourself:

So if the Police department is going to pretend to take a hard stance on underage drinking and create penalties harsh enough to hopefully prevent future offenders from committing the same crime. Then at least be consistent and fair in your practice of the policies.


theDustyone 6 years, 8 months ago

Even after writing all of that I have not even touched on what my true feelings are behind this case. And that is we need to preach more personal responsibility in this country, and especially in this town, instead of always trying to pass the buck and blame your mistakes on someone else. I know this may sound a little insensitive, so if I offend any of the friends or family of the victim I apologize as that is not my intention. I just feel like in situations like these, we as humans get so consumed with emotions, that we feel like we have to blame or punish someone in order to feel vindicated. I mean let's be honest with ourselves here for a second and realize that although some (not all) of the alcohol she might have consumed may have never been accessible to her had she not come out to the defendants house that night. But from there he did not force her to drink the alcohol, he did not tell her "hey I think it would be a good idea if you tried to pee of the balcony." And for those who argue that it was only because she had been drinking that she thought it was a good idea to pee off the balcony. That might be a valid argument if a) she had never had a sip of alcohol before, and therefore had no idea as to how it might effect her. and b) If she hadn't already been drinking before she arrived out to the defendant's house. So ultimately, it seems more like the defendant was the wrong age, at the wrong place, at the wrong time. And now he's going to be pay the ultimate price. And if this is the type of rational we're using in these types of cases, then I feel like we should start charging bartenders for drunk driving accidents.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.