Woman flees during sentencing

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Craig police are looking for a fugitive who fled the Moffat County Courthouse minutes before she was to be sentenced for drug charges.

Charlotte Corral, 36, appeared at her sentencing hearing only leave the courthouse after speaking with her attorney in one of the courthouse's conference rooms.

Corral pleaded guilty April 26 to distribution of cocaine and distribution of marijuana.

She was arrested Nov. 20 by Craig police and officers from the Grand Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team. Police found about 11 grams of cocaine, a small amount of methamphetamine and more than 9 ounces of marijuana at Corral's home, according to court documents.

Tuesday's sentencing hearing began when Corral's attorney, Erick Nordstrom announced to the court that Corral wished to terminate him. Nordstrom said he was informed of his client's decision only minutes before the hearing.

District Judge Paul R. McLimans asked Corral why she wanted to fire her court-appointed lawyer. Corral briefly discussed the presentencing investigation report that was prepared by the 14th Judicial District Probation Department. Corral said the report contained errors.

She said she had not had time to adequately refute the errors in the report.

The PSI reports generally discuss a defendant's criminal history and use of drugs and alcohol. They also provide guidance for judges and offer a recommendation for a sentence.

McLimans later said that the report had recommended a lengthy prison term in Corral's case.

McLimans explained to Corral that the court would not continue to appoint attorneys until Corral found one she liked.

He called Nordstrom an experienced defense attorney. McLimans told Corral she could proceed under Nordstrom's representation or go without legal council.

The judge called a brief recess while Nordstrom and Corral went into the hall to discuss the matter.

Nordstrom returned to the courtroom. Corral did not. McLimans asked where the defendant was.

"I thought she was right behind me," Nordstrom said.

Corral's daughter and a friend were dispatched to the ladies room to look for Corral.

Probation Officer Mason Siedschlaw returned to advise the court that Corral was not in the restroom and that her whereabouts were unknown.

McLimans recalled the case and then issued a warrant for Corral's arrest. She had been free after posting a $20,000 bond.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch requested the bond on the arrest warrant be increased to $50,000. McLimans granted it.

Craig police Capt. Jerry DeLong said officers were looking for Corral on Tuesday afternoon.

McLimans said the court would revisit the sentencing proceedings as soon as the warrant was executed.

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