Updated July 22, 2010 at 10:20 p.m.
Steamboat Springs Note: This story has been updated to include another statement from the Routt County Sheriff's Office regarding Robert Cash's condition.
Robert Cash was silent throughout his arraignment in Routt County Court on charges of attempted murder in the first degree and crime of violence Thursday afternoon.
Cash appeared before Judge James Garrecht by videoconference from the Routt County Jail in Steamboat Springs where he was booked Wednesday afternoon. Public defender Sheryl Uhlmann was at the jail with Cash.
Cash is charged with attempted first-degree murder and crime of violence, both felonies. With the crime of violence addition, Cash faces a possible total penalty of 16 to 48 years in prison, and a fine of as much as $1 million.
If he’s convicted of the crime of violence charge, the mandatory minimum sentence is 16 years.
Cash is accused of shooting his wife, Rhonda Cash, in the back of the neck June 11 in their west Steamboat home before shooting himself in the chest. Rhonda Cash reportedly has regained her ability to walk, but no other updates are available.
According to the arrest warrant written by Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Nick Bosick, Rhonda Cash said she was asleep facedown in bed at about 6:30 a.m. when Robert Cash walked into the room and shot her in the back of the neck. He then reportedly checked on her several times to see if she had died.
During that time, Robert Cash reportedly recorded an audio “suicide note.” According to the warrant, in the recording, Cash said he “just lost it” after Rhonda Cash asked him to move out of the bedroom the day before and after he overheard her talking to a man on the phone. The Cashes were going through a divorce and had filed papers with the court in April. As with all divorces in Colorado, no reason was given.
During Thursday’s 15-minute hearing, Uhlmann said she was not prepared to schedule any substantive hearings because she did not have all the paperwork from the Routt County District Attorney’s Office. When asked whether she would like to have a mental evaluation ordered for Robert Cash, she said she wanted to gather more information before deciding. Cash’s sister Linda Remy is acting as guardian for her brother and had applied for the public defender’s service before he arrived in Routt County.
According to deputies at the jail, Cash is having difficulties moving around and will have to be taken to the court by wheelchair for his next hearing. Jail spokeswoman Mellisa Baumgartner on Wednesday said Cash still was partially incoherent after being taken from the jail unit at Denver Health to Steamboat Springs.
Baumgartner on Friday released a statement saying that Cash was exhausted after transport but is medically stable. She wrote that no more updates will be provided because of medical privacy concerns.
Cash’s bail was set at $500,000 when he was arrested, but the District Attorney’s Office requested the judge increase the amount because of the mandatory minimum sentence added with the crime of violence charge.
The motion does not request a set amount for the bail. Garrecht said he would consider the adjustment and any other motions at a hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday.