Felon considers plea agreement

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After skipping a sentencing hearing and fleeing to Texas, convicted felon Donald Manley has been forcibly returned to Craig to face charges of bond violation and criminal mischief.

On Tuesday, Manley, 43, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He is due in district court on Jan. 9 to enter a plea for the charges.

The district attorney's office offered Manley a deal of two years for the bond violation charge, and agreed to abide by a prior agreement of six years for the criminal mischief charge.

Manley's lawyer indicated that if he were to accept the deal, he would want to serve consecutive sentences.

Manley is still waiting to receive a sentence from charges he's facing in Montrose County, where he was arrested for theft and extortion. Manley may request to serve concurrent sentences in Montrose and Moffat Counties.

Manley's Moffat County legal problems began in 2002 when he allegedly destroyed the house and belongings of his former girlfriend, Terry Sakellariou.

Craig Police Officer Jay Grimes wrote in an affidavit that he was unable to sufficiently describe the destruction committed by Manley.

Grimes wrote, "Inside, the entire structure was damaged, walls, appliances and doors were all damaged or destroyed. Personal belongings were heaped into piles, torn, broken, damaged, and covered with what appeared to be human fecal matter."

Manly was charged with criminal mischief in excess of $15,000, and he pleaded guilty. He was supposed to appear in Moffat County court on Sept. 16 for sentencing.

But Manly disappeared Aug. 12 after he was let out of jail on a personal recognizance bond as part of a plea agreement that included a six-year prison term. He also missed a sentencing hearing in Montrose County.

He was on the run until Oct. 5, when officers in Houston, Texas arrested him in the parking lot of a convenience store.

Manley has previously been convicted of felony charges in Texas, Florida and Oregon. The district attorney's office had originally sought to charge him as a "habitual criminal."

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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