Police-car vandal gets probation

A Craig woman who told police she had damaged two Colorado State Patrol vehicles because she wanted to get into jail to see her ex-boyfriend was sentenced Wednesday with two years probation and a felony charge.

Megan Valenzuela, 19, accepted a plea agreement in December that holds her responsible for one Class 5 felony count of criminal mischief but spares her prison time.

Valenzuela's attorney, Erick Nordstrom, said it was unfortunate that his client's probation couldn't be deferred, in effect, erasing the felony charge upon successful completion of probation.

"I'm disappointed. It's tough that she's 19 and she'll have a felony conviction for the rest of her life," he said.

Valenzuela also served about two months in the Moffat County Jail awaiting court appearances. She was sentenced Wednesday to restitution and courts costs of about $5,000.

Valenzuela, who was then 18, admitted to police that she had damaged two patrol cars the night of July 29 because she could not speak to her ex-boyfriend, Jonathon Crook, who was incarcerated at the Moffat County Jail, according to court documents.

Crook, 23, was in custody on alleged domestic violence charges against Valenzuela from an incident a few days earlier. Victims of domestic violence are placed under mandatory restraining orders from their alleged assailants.

According to court testimony, Valenzuela said she had been drinking alcohol and was high on methamphetamine leading up to the July 29 incident.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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