Juveniles plead guilty to string of burglaries


Two male juveniles pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from a string of auto burglaries and a store burglary that took place in July.

It was a busy day on the 14th Judicial District Court docket. Defendants appeared on charges ranging from theft and distribution of methamphetamine to assault and sexual conduct in a penal institute.

The juveniles pleaded guilty to criminal trespass of two automobiles.

"This was part of that string of car break-ins," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Dave Waite.

In July, police reported that unknown suspects broke into 16 cars. The burglaries occurred on the same night and in the same general location and appeared to be connected, police said.

Waite said he did not get convictions for all 16 cars. In many cases, the burglars entered the cars without permission, but nothing was stolen.

The same juveniles pleaded guilty to burglary and theft of a clothing store in the Centennial Mall. The burglary occurred in late July. The juveniles broke the front window of Maurices with a rock, according to police. Later, they tried to smash the window again, using a brick, but were unsuccessful. They were apprehended by bystanders and held for police.

The juveniles will be sentenced in March. Another juvenile is charged in the same case. He will appear later his month.

Karen Sadvar-Gerber, 34, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine. The Grand Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team raided Sadvar-Gerber's home in September after they were tipped off by a man who stabbed Sadvar-Gerber early the same morning. Instead of finding the operational meth lab GRAMNET was looking for, the task force found only two empty baggies containing methamphetamine residue, according to Sadvar-Gerber's attorney, Kristo-pher Hammond.

Lynn Horn, 42, appeared on charges including illegal weapons possession, possession of methamphetamine, third-degree assault, trespassing, introduction of contraband and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both of the cases against Horn were postponed. Horn is arranging legal counsel.

A 24-year-old former Moffat County Sheriff's deputy, who allegedly had sex with an inmate while on duty in July, appeared before Judge Paul R. McLimans.

The former jail guard was scheduled to enter his plea, but the prosecution and the defense are still "putting the finishing touches on a plea agreement," according to the man's attorney, Erick Nordstrom.

The former deputy is also charged with tampering with evidence, a felony, after he allegedly tried to get rid of video surveillance linking him to the alleged crime. He will appear again Feb. 4. McLimans said the parties should be able to go forward with the case that day, whether the former deputy pleads not guilty or accepts a plea agreement with the District Attorney's office.

Three bond agents who operate out of Denver and Grand Junction came to Moffat County to face allegations that they forced their way into a Craig home in an attempt to apprehend a man who owed them a $30,000 bond.

In addition to felony trespassing, each of the three is charged with misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault and impersonating a peace officer.

The evidentiary hearing in the bounty hunters' cases was largely uneventful. There were no motions.

"The evidence is pretty cut and dried," said Chad A. Atkins, the attorney for the agents.

A jury trial has been scheduled in the case.

Atkins said no plea agreement has been offered to his clients, although he anticipates one.

"It's customary in a criminal case for a plea to be offered," Atkins said. "Mr. Waite needs additional time to prepare a disposition. We'll decide whether to take it or not. The pre-trial conference is when everything should be known."

The pre-trial conference in the bond agents' cases is set for Feb. 17. If the case goes to a jury trial, it will take place March 25.

"We always talk," Waite said of a possible plea agreement in the bond agents' cases. "I have not arrived at a formal offer yet."

Clara Goins, who owns Action Jackson Bail Bonds, said she and her colleagues were pursuing a dangerous criminal who is accused of raping a 14-year-old Grand Junction girl. She claims they "did everything by the book."

Atkins said it is uncommon for law enforcement not to accompany bounty hunters in such cases.

"I don't know if there's limited resources or if it's just not policy," Atkins said. "But it's unusual. In most places the police almost always send an escort."

At an earlier hearing in the case, Waite said the agents contacted the sheriff's office for an escort to approach the home. But he said the agents did not wait for the deputies and just "helped themselves."

The above cases are left over from an extremely busy 2003 district court docket, in which a record number of cases were filed.

McLimans said it reminds him of the 1980s, when the caseload was similarly large.

"The caseload had dropped off in the 1990s and early 2000s, but it's picking up again," McLimans said.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com.

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