Inmate's phone call to victim could result in more charges

A Moffat County inmate who faces six years in prison for criminal mischief may see new charges added to his lengthy criminal record because of a collect call he allegedly made from jail.

Don Manley, 43, violated a restraining order on Wednesday, according to Terry Sakellariou, who is named as a victim in one of Manley's felony cases.

Manley was convicted of felonies in Florida, Oregon and Texas prior to his conflicts with the law in Colorado, according to court documents. He was sentenced to five years in prison last week for crimes he committed in Montrose County. Sentencing is pending for criminal mischief and bail bond violations in Moffat County.

A telephone call on Wednesday is his latest offense, Sakellariou said.

Sakellariou said Manley called her on Wednesday. One of her roommates accepted the collect call, Sakellariou said. But Manley is under strict orders from the court not to contact Sakellariou.

"How did he get my number?" Sakellariou said. "It's unpublished and it's not even in my name."

Sheriff's Lt. Dean Herndon, the jail administrator, said he could not confirm that the call took place until he consults with one of his staff members. The deputy who normally accesses the jail's telephone records system will be back in the office next week, Herndon said.

"If the restraining order is still in place, and it's my understanding that it is, that would be a new charge of restraining order violation," said Dave Waite, who is the chief deputy district attorney in Moffat County.

Waite was not aware of the alleged violation. Police and sheriff's officials could not confirm it either.

Herndon said one of his staffers can look at jail records and determine for sure if Manley made the call. If he did, Waite said the crime will be added to the list of charges against Manley.

"We will prosecute that," Waite said. "We pretty aggressively prosecute restraining order violations. That would definitely be a violation and I can understand why (Sakellariou) might be upset about that."

The restraining order stems from a case filed in 2002 in which Manley pleaded no contest to a felony charge of criminal mischief. According to court documents, Manley destroyed Sakellariou's house and nearly all her belongings.

"Outside, the steel shed on the property was torn to the ground and the yard was littered with debris," court documents indicate. "Inside, the entire structure was damaged, walls appliances, doors were all damaged or destroyed. Personal belongings, clothes, photos, documents and furniture were heaped into piles, torn, broken, damaged and covered with what appeared to be human and animal fecal material."

Sakellariou won a $138,000 civil settlement against Manley in 2001, but she said she doesn't expect to collect.

Manley fled Craig in August after he bonded out of jail prior to a sentencing hearing in the criminal mischief case. He was picked up as a fugitive in Texas Oct. 5 and returned to face felony charges in Colorado.

Sakellariou said the phone call upset her so much that it was "the last straw." She filed a grievance against Waite on Wednesday.

Sakellariou said that she has not been treated like a victim in the case. She said the District Attorney's office was supposed to notify her of court settings and failed to do so. When Manley was let out of jail and fled to Texas, Sakellariou said she was not notified.

She no longer lives in Craig. She travels here to be present at court hearings, but sometimes the dates were changed and she was not notified, Sakellariou said.

"Three times I got there and found out, 'Sorry, it's been rescheduled,'" Sakellariou said.

The Victims' Rights Act established rules for notifying victims of key steps in the judicial process. Sakellariou claims the District Attorney's office is in violation of those rules.

Waite disagrees.

He said Sakellariou's case does not meet the requirements for mandatory notification. As a courtesy, Waite said his office has tried to keep Sakellariou informed.

"We've probably missed notifying her of some of the insubstantial hearings," Waite said.

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

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