Judge rejects plea deal for CAPS escapee

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A second judge in as many weeks rejected a plea deal Tuesday for a Craig man who walked away from CAPS in November.

The deal would have sent Charles Edward Yoder, 41, of Craig, to prison for two years for walking away from the Correctional Alternative Placement Services facility on Ran--ney Street.

But 14th Jud--icial District Chief Judge Mich----ael O'Hara rejected the deal Tuesday, saying it didn't require Yod--er to spend enough time behind bars.

O'Hara said he also had reservations about the deal because prosecutors didn't know how extensive Yoder's criminal record is.

Yoder has been sentenced to prison on three separate occasions during the past 20 years, but prosecutors weren't sure how many times Yoder had been convicted of a felony.

Moffat County Judge Mary Lynne James rejected the same deal for Yoder on March 7. James said the deal wasn't a strong enough punishment for Yoder, whose record includes convictions for illegal weapons possession and previous escape charges.

James said earlier this month that by rejecting the deal, she was leaving the decision up to O'Hara.

Yoder previously waived his right to a preliminary hearing in order to take the deal. On Tuesday, O'Hara rescheduled a preliminary hearing for Yoder April 11.

Yoder's lawyer, public defender Sheryl Uhlmann, told the judge Tuesday she would work on a different plea agreement with prosecutors.

"I expect that we will continue with the negotiations," Uhlmann said.

Yoder had been at CAPS for about six months when he walked away. Police arrested Yoder and his son, Kenneth Yoder, 20, near Moab, Utah, on Nov. 26. Kenneth Yoder also was an escapee from a Colorado correctional facility.

The arrest came after a three-hour standoff.

Authorities extradited Yoder back to Colorado in January.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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