District Attorney’s Office denies Steamboat man’s request
Huber denied reduced sentencing
August 4, 2011
Steamboat Springs — A request for a reduced jail sentence for Adam Huber was denied by the Routt County District Attorney's Office this week.
"No new evidence or information has been presented that would cause me to believe that the plea offer Mr. Huber agreed to was unfair, unreasonable or unjust," Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle wrote in an Aug. 1 letter addressed to Jeff Weeden, a Steamboat Springs attorney who made the request on behalf of Huber, 40.
Prindle denied the request for a reduced sentence despite developments regarding the 14-year-old boy who Huber stabbed in the hand during an altercation at Bud Werner Memorial Library on April 4. The boy later admitted to police that he helped burglarize downtown Steamboat businesses with his brother on May 4, a month after the library incident.
That same day, the boy appeared in Routt County Court and showed Judge James Garrecht the stab wounds on his hands. Huber accepted a deal from the District Attorney's Office and pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of misdemeanor third-degree assault. He was sentenced to six months in Routt County Jail.
Weeden, Huber's attorney, argued the sentence should be reduced in part because the criminal actions of the 14-year-old would have provided credibility to Huber's insistence that he was acting in self defense when he stabbed the boy. Weeden also said the full histories and criminal backgrounds of the three boys involved in the library altercation were not known, including acts involving loaded firearms, explosives and fighting.
"More material information is now known about the incident and the victims that provide credibility to and mitigation regarding Mr. Huber's characterization of his defense of himself," Weeden stated.
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Weeden's request was accompanied by letters of support from 15 people, including one from one of the three boys involved in the altercation who stated he thought Huber should be let out early because it seemed Huber knew what he did was wrong.
Judge Garrecht denied the request for a hearing to consider the matter.
"Unless the D.A. agrees, the court does not have the authority to modify the parties' agreement," Garrecht wrote.
Prindle said the facts related to what happened at the library have not changed, and that legally, the evidence related to the character of the victims would not have been admissible at trial.
"Any new information that may have been discovered or surfaced weeks or even months after the incident at the library is irrelevant unless it is of such a nature that it would have significantly affected the outcome of the case or impacted the plea negotiations significantly," Prindle stated. "That is not the case here."
Huber is due to be released from jail Sept. 22, but that could change if the District Attorney's Office successfully prosecutes a new misdemeanor harassment charge filed against Huber relating to a fight Saturday at the jail.
The Routt County Sheriff's Office stated in an affidavit that Huber was involved in an altercation with William Ellifritz, who is the older brother of the boy who was stabbed. Ellifritz pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and second-degree theft related to the May 4 downtown burglaries and is currently in jail awaiting sentencing.
The Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate Saturday's incident that took place in the jail's visitation room.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com