Deal is made in Steamboat alcohol incident | SteamboatToday.com

Deal is made in Steamboat alcohol incident

Man gets jail for buying for teens

Zach Fridell

— After a series of underage drinking events, the Routt County District Attorney's Office and the Routt County Sheriff's Office have a plea agreement with jail time for Ryan Atkinson.

Atkinson, 25, was accused of and pleaded guilty to providing alcohol to a group of minors at a party Jan. 10 on Routt County Road 14B.

According to a plea agreement signed by Atkinson and his attorney, he will plead guilty to two charges related to providing alcohol to minors. One charge is a straight guilty plea, and Atkinson agreed to spend one year in the Routt County Jail. The other charge will carry a deferred judgment for three years. Four additional and similar charges were dismissed as part of the agreement. The agreement also includes a $750 donation to Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

The judge will review the plea agreement at 9 a.m. Aug. 11 and can make changes and approve or not approve the deal.

Atkinson was suspected of providing alcohol to seven people at the party, including four who were younger than 18. A 17-year-old girl at the party reportedly fell backward from a balcony at the house and landed on snow-covered concrete.

The girl reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.286, more than three times the legal limit to drive, which is 0.08. The girl was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and later flown by air ambulance to a Denver-area hospital, where she was in a coma.

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Sheriff's Office investigator Ken Klinger said the girl has made a partial recovery.

"The girl, she is doing much, much better," he said. "She still has tons of issues, as you might suppose, but she is getting more mobility back."

Klinger said the girl and her mother have moved out of state.

Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle said the plea would carry real jail time — one year with credit for time served.

"We just thought that, based on the circumstances of the case, he should be held responsible," Prindle said. "Even though he wasn't the direct cause of this girl's injuries, if she hadn't been drinking, this probably wouldn't have happened."

A call to Atkinson's attorney, Kris Hammond, was not returned Friday.

Another case involving underage drinking also will be in court Thursday. Because it is a juvenile case, the court records were not available for public review. Prindle also declined to discuss the case.

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