Judge sentences Craig woman to jail term | SteamboatToday.com

Judge sentences Craig woman to jail term

Tausha Merwin to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail

Brian Smith

Tausha Merwin

Judge Shelley Hill had stern words for Craig resident Tausha Merwin before sentencing Tuesday afternoon in Moffat County District Court.

"I do not hesitate in telling you, do not come before me or Judge (Michael) O'Hara again, because you will not like it," she said.

Hill sentenced Merwin to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail.

Merwin was convicted July 14 of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony, after a three-day jury trial. She pleaded not guilty to the charge Feb. 17.

Prosecutors alleged Merwin lied to Craig Police Department officials about her alleged relationship with Ken Johnson, a former detective and member of the All Crimes Enforcement Team.

In addition to 30 days in jail, Hill also sentenced Merwin to 30 days of work release and three years of probation. She was ordered to pay $3,726 in fines, $1,800 of which stem from probation services.

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Tuesday's sentencing also included penalties for a prior deferred judgment.

In 2008, she was convicted of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance more than one gram, a Class 4 felony, according to court records.

She was also convicted in 2007, according to court records, of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance one gram or less, a Class 6 felony.

Jon Pfeifer, a Moffat County deputy district attorney, recommended Hill sentence Merwin to 10 years in prison, considering her felony conviction in July, the deferred sentence and the previous felony conviction in 2007.

Pfeifer said the case involving Merwin and Johnson has had a "substantial impact on this community."

Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith represented Merwin and recommended his client receive two years of probation.

Merwin addressed the judge before sentencing.

"I would like to apologize for my actions," she said. "I realize that my behavior didn't just affect me, it affected a lot of people around me. I respectfully accept whatever sentence."

Smith said Merwin has "accepted responsibility for these offenses."

"She has shown remorse," he said. "She has been accountable for her actions."

Hill said Merwin's choices have been poor.

"If you continue to engage in the behaviors that you have demonstrated to this court and to the drug court and to your probation officers, you do put this community at risk," she said.

"Why you would play with your future the way you did while you were on probation on two separate cases … is absolutely beyond me. It can't feel good for you right now having absolutely no control over what happens to you and I hope you learn from that.

"(This) is a terrible place for you to be."

Pfeifer said he was "not especially happy" with Hill's decision, but that he did his job and made his "argument and let the judge decide."

ACET commander Garrett Wiggins said it was a "good feeling" to have closure on the case considering "all the hard work the (district attorney's) office did on this investigation."

Joe DeAngelo, chief investigator for the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, said he was also glad to have closure on the case.

"For Garrett, myself and our office in general, this has been a two-year nightmare that finally came to an end today, and everyone is happy to have the closure," he said.

At a glance

• Craig resident Tausha Merwin sentenced to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail after being convicted of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony, in July.

• Merwin also sentenced to 30 days of work release, three years of probation, and ordered to pay $3,726 in fines.

• Merwin allegedly lied to Craig Police Department officials about her alleged relationship with Ken Johnson, a former detective and officer with the All Crimes Enforcement Team.

• Merwin has prior felony convictions including a 2007 conviction of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance one gram or less, a Class 6 felony, and a 2008 conviction of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance more than one gram, a Class 4 felony.

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