Pogline pleads guilty

Probation not an option

A Craig man with a long list of felony charges struck a plea agreement with prosecutors Wednesday in Moffat County District Court.

Steven Pogline faces up to eight years in prison and possible fines up to $100,000.

Pogline, 30, pleaded guilty to charges in two cases, but other charges from six other cases were dismissed.

Pogline pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with the intent to commit serious bodily injury. On May 10, 2004, Pogline was housed in the Moffat County Jail when he hit inmate Christopher Hahs twice in the mouth and broke his jaw. Jail officials said they have the incident on videotape.

According to terms in the agreement on that case, Pogline may get 2 1/2 to eight years in the Department of Corrections, District Court Judge Paul McLimans said.

Pogline pleaded guilty to one other charge in a separate case. It alleges that police found him in possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine in a Dec. 20, 2003, traffic stop.

According to the terms in that deal, Pogline may face from one year to 18 months in prison for that charge, McLimans said.

Pogline faces a hearing that will round out the terms of his sentence Jan. 27 in front of McLimans.

His sentences will run concurrently and will be followed by a mandatory two-year parole.

Sheryl Ulhmann, Pogline's defense attorney in some of the cases that were covered in the plea deal, said she disagreed with the potential sentencing. Ulhmann and Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch disagreed in court earlier in the week whether the plea agreement should include prison time for two to six years or longer.

Fitch said she would push for the full eight years of prison time for Pogline.

Because he has two felony convictions, Pogline isn't eligible for probation.

"Obviously we had hoped for more but we had a lot of victims who developed amnesia or who no longer wanted to participate (as witnesses)," Fitch said.

Leading up to Wednesday's plea deal, police had to retrieve an alleged victim who also was a subpoenaed witness in a July preliminary hearing for Pogline and his brother, James Pogline, 32.

Valerie Guevara first told police the Poglines forcibly drugged her in an April 9 incident, but she refused to testify during the hearing.

Another alleged victim who told police that he was afraid of retaliation by Steven Pogline after a July 20, 2003, incident in which Pogline allegedly threatened to kill him, according to court documents, now lives out of state.

"People expect the police and the D.A. to protect them and they have the right to expect that, but we can't do it on our own," Fitch said. "The reality is we need witnesses and they need to be willing to testify."

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