Craig man arrested in connection to armed robbery

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— Law enforcement arrested a Craig man Wednesday, who is suspected of robbing $199 at gunpoint from the Loaf 'N Jug on Aug. 28, 2008.

Jeremiah Blair, 22, of Craig, was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery, a Class 3 felony, by the Routt County Sheriff's Office while at work at Twenty Mile Coal.

The arrest was made at the request of the Craig Police Department.

He is currently in custody at Moffat County Jail awaiting a judge's advisement and official charges.

According to Blair's arrest warrant affidavit, he first became a suspect in the case when he was arrested for driving under the influence two days after the robbery occurred.

At that time, he told Craig Police Officer Tony Fandel he had a firearm in the trunk of his car.

Fandel reported in the affidavit that he recognized the gun, a 1911 model .45 caliber Colt handgun, as being the kind described by the Loaf 'N Jug clerk who was held at gunpoint.

The affidavit states Fandel took possession of the weapon with Blair's consent, after Fandel said he wanted to make sure nothing happened to it.

While Blair was in custody for DUI, a charge he later pleaded guilty to, Fandel called Detective Jen Kenney, the lead investigator in the Loaf 'N Jug case.

Kenney examined the gun, and compared Blair's shoe to prints that were found in and around Loaf 'N Jug the night of the robbery. She submitted the shoe evidence to Dwane Hilderbrand, a forensic shoe impression identification expert, who reported that Blair's shoe matched the prints found at the crime scene, according to the affidavit.

Kenney and Joseph DeAngelo, an investigator with the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, then received a search warrant for Blair's house.

There, they found a sweatshirt that was later matched to the one worn by the robber and captured by the convenience store's security cameras, the affidavit states.

DeAngelo then called Blair's wife, Amanda, who was staying in Vernal, Utah, at the time.

According to the affidavit, Amanda said her husband was "going crazy," had been depressed and that the family faced "serious financial troubles."

Kenney also acquired a DNA sample from Blair to compare against a smoked cigarette butt and puddle of urine found by the crime scene.

However, the affidavit states the Colorado Bureau of Investigation didn't have time to analyze the samples because of a high caseload.

The CBI said it could only process the samples if Blair was officially charged and a court date was set.

Without DNA evidence, Kenney wanted to be reasonably certain she had the right suspect in the case.

Kenney states in the affidavit she enlisted the help of Doug Scott, who has a doctorate in statistics from Texas A&M University and teaches at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, to help process the evidence in the case and see if it was likely Blair committed the robbery.

In the affidavit, it reads that Scott's report showed there would be at most 1.3 people in Moffat County who wore the same shoe, drove the same car, owned the same gun and matched the same physical characteristics as Blair, in addition to other evidence that was collected.

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