D.A. eyes attempted murder in shooting | SteamboatToday.com

D.A. eyes attempted murder in shooting

Gary E. Salazar

— A Yampa man who was the victim in a knife attack two years ago now finds himself accused of attempted murder.
Warren Dean Hillbolt III, 33, faces charges of first-degree attempted murder and using a deadly weapon in a violent crime for allegedly shooting a 24-year-old co-worker Saturday night.
Hillbolt appeared in Routt County Judge James Garrecht’s courtroom Monday afternoon to be advised of the charges. He is being held in the Routt County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
According to a court file, Hillbolt allegedly shot Jared Williams at about 8:30 p.m. while inside his Yampa trailer at 116400 Colorado 131.
In 1998, Hillbolt was the one left bleeding after a fight outside a Steamboat Springs supermarket that led to his attacker being charged with attempted murder.
On Saturday night, Hillbolt, Williams and another man had been drinking at a Steamboat Springs restaurant when they decided to drive south to Hillbolt’s residence, the file shows. On the way to Yampa, Hillbolt allegedly told Williams he was going to shoot him.
Once the three men, who all are construction workers, arrived at the trailer, Hillbolt allegedly picked up a 9 mm semi-automatic assault rife and shot Williams in the shoulder, the file shows.
After reportedly pulling the trigger, Hillbolt put the gun down and applied direct pressure to the man’s wound, according to the court file.
Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the trailer found the victim in a car outside with the other man who witnessed the shooting. An ambulance took Williams to Yampa Valley Medical Center where he was treated for the gunshot wound and released.
Hillbolt was taken into custody about 8:46 p.m. after he calmly surrendered to deputies.
Hillbolt allegedly told a deputy, “Yeah, I shot the boy straight up,” the file states. “I was trying to shoot him in the heart.”
Hillbolt called 911 after the shot was fired but hung up the telephone. A dispatcher called the residence back, and Hillbolt told the call had been made on accident, the file shows.
The third man in the trailer that night reportedly called 911 a little while later by taking the telephone into the bathroom.
On Sunday morning, deputies obtained a warrant to search Hillbolt’s trailer and confiscated numerous firearms, along with the weapon suspected of being used in the shooting.
Hillbolt told Judge Garrecht Monday that he is unsure if he will be able to post bond. Hillbolt has applied for an attorney from the public defender’s office to represent him.
Public Defender William Schurman advised the court his office will not be able to represent Hillbolt.
That’s because Schurman defended Hillbolt’s attacker after a fight outside City Market in 1998. Kenneth Lorenzo Ferguson, who was originally charged with second-degree attempted murder, was found guilty of first-degree assault and sentenced to five years in prison earlier this year.
The attack occurred after the two men got into an argument precipitated by racial slurs. Hillbolt is white and Ferguson is black.
Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann argued Monday that the bond for the charges should be $50,000. He pointed out to the court that Hillbolt has a criminal record that includes a misdemeanor assault charge in Colorado Springs.
Feldmann also told the court of a felony menacing charge in Colorado Springs and an assault in Oklahoma in 1985. Both incidents involved a weapon, he said.
If Hillbolt is convicted of the two current counts, he faces between 16 to 48 years in prison. His next scheduled court appearance is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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