Judge sentences Craig woman to jail term

Tausha Merwin to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail

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Tausha Merwin

At a glance

• Craig resident Tausha Merwin sentenced to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail after being convicted of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony, in July.

• Merwin also sentenced to 30 days of work release, three years of probation, and ordered to pay $3,726 in fines.

• Merwin allegedly lied to Craig Police Department officials about her alleged relationship with Ken Johnson, a former detective and officer with the All Crimes Enforcement Team.

• Merwin has prior felony convictions including a 2007 conviction of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance one gram or less, a Class 6 felony, and a 2008 conviction of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance more than one gram, a Class 4 felony.

Judge Shelley Hill had stern words for Craig resident Tausha Merwin before sentencing Tuesday afternoon in Moffat County District Court.

“I do not hesitate in telling you, do not come before me or Judge (Michael) O’Hara again, because you will not like it,” she said.

Hill sentenced Merwin to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail.

Merwin was convicted July 14 of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony, after a three-day jury trial. She pleaded not guilty to the charge Feb. 17.

Prosecutors alleged Merwin lied to Craig Police Department officials about her alleged relationship with Ken Johnson, a former detective and member of the All Crimes Enforcement Team.

In addition to 30 days in jail, Hill also sentenced Merwin to 30 days of work release and three years of probation. She was ordered to pay $3,726 in fines, $1,800 of which stem from probation services.

Tuesday’s sentencing also included penalties for a prior deferred judgment.

In 2008, she was convicted of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance more than one gram, a Class 4 felony, according to court records.

She was also convicted in 2007, according to court records, of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance one gram or less, a Class 6 felony.

Jon Pfeifer, a Moffat County deputy district attorney, recommended Hill sentence Merwin to 10 years in prison, considering her felony conviction in July, the deferred sentence and the previous felony conviction in 2007.

Pfeifer said the case involving Merwin and Johnson has had a “substantial impact on this community.”

Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith represented Merwin and recommended his client receive two years of probation.

Merwin addressed the judge before sentencing.

“I would like to apologize for my actions,” she said. “I realize that my behavior didn’t just affect me, it affected a lot of people around me. I respectfully accept whatever sentence.”

Smith said Merwin has “accepted responsibility for these offenses.”

“She has shown remorse,” he said. “She has been accountable for her actions.”

Hill said Merwin’s choices have been poor.

“If you continue to engage in the behaviors that you have demonstrated to this court and to the drug court and to your probation officers, you do put this community at risk,” she said.

“Why you would play with your future the way you did while you were on probation on two separate cases … is absolutely beyond me. It can’t feel good for you right now having absolutely no control over what happens to you and I hope you learn from that.

“(This) is a terrible place for you to be.”

Pfeifer said he was “not especially happy” with Hill’s decision, but that he did his job and made his “argument and let the judge decide.”

ACET commander Garrett Wiggins said it was a “good feeling” to have closure on the case considering “all the hard work the (district attorney’s) office did on this investigation.”

Joe DeAngelo, chief investigator for the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said he was also glad to have closure on the case.

“For Garrett, myself and our office in general, this has been a two-year nightmare that finally came to an end today, and everyone is happy to have the closure,” he said.

Comments

aichempty 4 years, 3 months ago

ACET should be disbanded based on this travesty alone.

Who supervises them?

Two years of time and money and effort spent to put a probation violator in jail for thirty meaningless days.

There's no money available to investigate white-collar and economic crimes, but they have unlimited ability to run a two-year investigation of a single USER who it seems hurt NOBODY except a cop who should have known better and could have exercised minimal professional responsibility and one ounce of courage to prevent any of this from happening.

How about putting a lawyer in jail who influenced a judge to break the law? There are plenty of cases like that around. Isn't it pretty much the same thing when you exert pressure or influence on a public servant to do something that is contrary to the requirements of the law?

This case should go down in history as the biggest example of a double standard on record.

What's the difference between what this woman did, and a member of the judicial performance commission obtaining unlawful favors from a sitting judge?

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Kristopher Hammond 4 years, 3 months ago

ACET has no adult supervision--answerable to no elected body.

You never miss an opportunity to rehash your tired old allegations re unnamed lawyers and mysterious conspiracies. blah blah blah.

That's an old playground excuse: You only won because you cheated.

You lost Aich. It was years ago. You appealed and lost. You cling to the idea that a vast conspiracy (and not the facts and the law) are to blame.

Now you have projected your theory onto every case.

"I lost a case a long time ago because the lawyer on the other side must have cheated. Every lawyer who wins must be a cheater"

Explain why lawyers shouldn't try to persuade judges. Isn't that a lawyer's job? Isn't that what the clients are paying for? To try to persuade a judge? Doesn't that role play a crucial part in our judicial system? They call them advocates for a reason.

Jail the lawyers who win because the winning proves the cheating. Who will be left? Would you hire the leftovers? "Hire me. I lose every case. Aichempty says that proves I don't cheat." I am not persuaded. You win.

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aichempty 4 years, 3 months ago

And meanwhile, back in the Land of Denial, Shawant once again rises to take the bait.

Here's the deal, friend.

A person who uses his position as an officer of the court to obtain unlawful gains is despicable. The only things worse are a person who doesn't have the courage to do the right thing, or a person who is too ignorant to know the difference.

If you are an attorney or a person with a direct interest in knowing the truth, contact me via the Pilot with your name and telephone number, and I'll fill you in. This goes for anyone who is willing to know the truth. Personally, I don't think you have what it takes to deal with the truth, because if you are an attorney you would not like what you find out. It would be a lot easier for you to have doubts and blame it on me than to know the truth and have to lie to everyone else from now on. Or . . . maybe it would not bother you at all. Maybe that's our problem around here.

The facts I post here have been reviewed by an attorney who practices in Routt County, as well as by another attorney who represented me in an entirely separate case.

Don't you think I'd have gotten a letter, or the Pilot would have been hit with a court order or a subpoena if these things were not true?

The upcoming election is a chance to make some choices. I suppose things could be worse. Maybe that's a good campaign slogan.

"Vote for _. Things could be worse."

I like it.

When ACET arrests a doctor, lawyer, real estate agent, business owner, or anyone else who makes more than $50,000 a year, that's what I'd like to hear about. Two years of effort culminating in the sentencing of a user to 30 days in jail is the most ridiculous thing to happen around here since the County decided to spend $18,000,000 to build a courthouse they did not have to build, or maybe since the City spent $1,000,000 for an air terminal that never yet served a single scheduled airline passenger.

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Kristopher Hammond 4 years, 3 months ago

You haven't posted any facts, just your opinions. But you must be right because your opinions "were reviewed by an attorney who practices in Routt County"? And another attorney too? An attorney will review anything for a fee. "review" does not mean "agree". Were these attorneys the honest kind who have never won a case, or a winner (who, by definition, cheated)?

You and the Pilot can't be punished for spouting your opinions, no matter how farfetched they are, so the lack of a letter or court order is no surprise at all.

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aichempty 4 years, 3 months ago

Shawant,

You're in denial.

The reason I really post these things is because the wrongdoers know exactly who they are, and one of these days I plan to testify against them in federal court. I'm not the only person in Colorado who is interested in making that happen.

As for the matter at hand in this thread, does it strike anyone else as ridiculous that the 14th District spent all this time and money to send a probation violator to jail for 30 days, and a former cop to jail for TWO DAYS!

If they're going to ignore all the public corruption and white collar crime that goes on around here in favor of a matter that could have been settled much more economically by buying this woman a bus ticket and giving her $1000 to leave town, we need to have some changes made.

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