DA seeks bond increase for 'habitual offender'

Craig resident John Eilts recently posted $60,000 bond for convicted criminal Steven Skufca but District Attorney Paul McLimans said Skufca's bail needs to be raised because Skufca was found to be a habitual offender at a hearing Monday in Moffat County Court.

"Bond was previously set but my understanding is Mr. Skufca has posted bond," McLimans said. "Clearly what happened here today ups the anti."

Skufca was deemed to be a habitual offender by Judge Richard P. Doucette because of three past felonies.

"The court has to readdress the issue of bond," McLimans said during the public hearing Monday. "My understanding is the jail will release him if it is not addressed. This is a man convicted to be a habitual offender and is looking at a very long sentence. The people are asking that bond be increased to $500,000."

A bond hearing s scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday in Steamboat Springs. Doucette splits his judicial duties between Craig and Steamboat Springs based on the area's judicial district.

After the hearing was scheduled, Eilts, who was sitting in the audience with Skufca's parents, addressed the judge.

"I object to any increase in bond," he said. "Not because I cannot furnish it but because I object. I will do it but I prefer not to."

Eilts recently used his Craig home as collateral to make Skufca's bond on state charges relating to the use and possession of drugs. He said he plans to put up his Routt County ranch, which he said is worth more than $4 million, for any bond set on federal charges, which are also related to alleged drug use and possession.

Skufca was convicted Nov. 21 of possession of a Class 2 controlled substance, possession of more than one but less than eight ounces of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and introducing contraband in the first degree.

He was arrested Sept. 21 on a warrant for a felony traffic incident. Before the warrant could be served, the Grand, Routt and Moffat County Narcotics Enforcement Team contacted the Moffat County Sheriff's Department concerning a drug buy GRAMNET agents had just allegedly made from Skufca.

Skufca is scheduled to face a jury trial July 23 for the pending

felony case.

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