Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Steamboat Springs The man accused of firing a gun toward three people June 9 outside a downtown Steamboat Springs bar is contemplating a plea deal, according to court records.
Steven Torres, 57, of Steamboat Springs, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Monday, but it was canceled at the request of Routt County Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann.
“Mr. Torres is considering a plea offer but is not in a position to decide on whether to accept the offer until a private evaluation is completed,” Uhlmann stated in a court document. “Information from such an evaluation is critical to his decision.”
She goes on to state that the charges in the case — three charges of attempted first-degree murder — are extremely serious and that Torres’ decision to accept an offer is “one of great consequence.” The details of the plea offer were not part of the court records.
Torres appeared in court Wednesday. He remains in custody, and his bail has been set at $250,000.
Uhlmann said it will take some additional time to complete an investigation and other evaluations.
Torres is scheduled to return to court Sept. 26.
“Hopefully something will be decided by then, but I understand this is a serious case so I want you to be comfortable with what you’re doing,” Routt County Judge James Garrecht said.
Torres is suspected of firing a single gunshot in the direction of two bouncers and a woman outside The Tap House Sports Grill on Lincoln Avenue.
According to a police affidavit filed with the court, the bouncers said Torres was acting strangely and scaring bar patrons. When one of the bouncers approached Torres, Torres reportedly turned around and punched the man in the chest and said, “You don’t wanna get capped,” the affidavit states. The bouncers said they then escorted Torres out of the bar. At the top of the stairs, Torres reportedly said, “You’re gonna get capped.”
The bouncers stated that Torres was escorted about 10 feet from the entrance to the bar and that he stood outside for two to three minutes before he reached into his pocket and pulled the handgun out of a plastic bag, the affidavit states. At that point, the bouncers said they ran down the stairs and heard the gunshot. One of the bouncers told police that he felt the air from the bullet pass by his leg as he was going down the stairs.
According to the affidavit, a waitress told police she was standing at the bottom of the stairs looking up and saw Torres fire the gun at the two bouncers.
Police arrived at the bar quickly and received a description of the suspect. Torres was arrested in front of another bar about a block away on Yampa Street.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com