Steamboat Springs Jonathon Hieb was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in Routt County Jail for stealing from a fellow downtown business owner.
Hieb pleaded no contest Dec. 5 to attempted theft, a Class 5 felony.
In addition to jail time, Hieb will be on supervised probation for 30 months and will have to pay restitution to the owner of Bella’s Wine Bar. The amount of restitution will be determined later. Hieb was given a deferred judgement and sentence, meaning if he complies with the conditions of probation, the case will be dismissed and Hieb will not have a felony on his record.
Bella’s owner Nick Ciraldo said he was not surprised by the sentence but wished Hieb would have received the maximum allowable sentence of 90 days in jail.
Hieb, 46, was arrested May 19 on suspicion of stealing $2,631 in cash and product from Bella’s, where he had worked as a server and bartender since October 2010.
Thursday’s hearing before 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael O’Hara did not play out like a typical sentencing and at times took on characteristics of a trial. Hieb had pleaded no contest to the crime, but his attorney, Tim Oliphant, called Hieb and a former bartender to testify briefly. They both questioned the accuracy of Bella’s accounting practices.
Ciraldo also was called to testify and was accused by Oliphant of taking cash from the register without accounting for it.
“Absolutely incorrect,” Ciraldo said.
Routt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle objected to the continued questioning and so did the judge.
“Your client has plead. He’s here for sentencing,” O’Hara said. “I’m not going to say, ‘I’m sorry, you’re not guilty of anything.’”
Hieb asked the judge whether he could serve his sentence beginning April 1.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Hieb, I’m not going to do that,” O’Hara said, and ordered Hieb to report to jail by March 4.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com