Work release escapee pleads guilty

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A Craig man with a growing list of charges including escaping from the Moffat County Jail's work release program wrapped up his cases with a plea agreement in Moffat County Court on Monday.

Paul Mendoza, 39, accepted the stipulated terms of a deal that will include spending one year in the Colorado Department of Corrections in two concurrent sentences. That will occur after he wraps up a six-month sentence in the Moffat County Jail on traffic violations.

Mendoza pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of escape and a felony charge of a bail bond violation.

"There are charges that are going away, but there is a felony conviction," Moffat County Judge Mary Lynne James explained during Monday's hearing.

Mendoza said he understood the terms of the deal.

Dismissed was a charge of possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance incurred in a separate incident.

He will be fined $322.

Mendoza failed to report back to the Moffat County Jail earlier this month while participating in its work release program. Moffat County Sheriff deputies said Mendoza was located in Baggs, Wyo. about a week after he failed to report back to the jail.

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