County commissioner gets deferred sentence

Merwin, Arambel also in court Tuesday

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Tom Mathers

— Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers was sentenced Tuesday morning in Moffat County District Court for his role in an alleged vehicular incident reported in July 2009.

Mathers, 60, was originally charged with third-degree as­­­sault, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and careless driving, a Class 1 traffic offense, after allegedly hitting a former employee in the parking lot of his business, Mathers Lounge & Café.

As part of a plea agreement, the assault charge was dismissed Tuesday and Mathers pleaded guilty to careless driving before Judge Stanley Mayhew.

He was given a one-year deferred sentence and ordered to pay $94.50 in fines.

When reached Wednesday, Mathers said his attorney, James Osborne, instructed him not to comment on the case.

On July 20, 2009, Craig resident Mike Breen, a former cook at Mathers Lounge & Cafe, filed a report with the Craig Police Department alleging Mathers struck him with his vehicle outside Mathers’ establishment days earlier, on July 12, 2009, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

After receiving an initial report about the accident, the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office turned the case over to a special prosecutor from the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Summit County because of a potential conflict of interest.

An arrest warrant was issued Dec. 7, 2009, and Mathers turned himself in to the Moffat County Jail that afternoon.

He was released the same day on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.

With a deferred sentence, if Mathers completes the one-year probationary term, his sentence and guilty plea will be dismissed.

Mathers, who was elected to the county commission in 2006, is up for re-election in November.

He did not wish to comment Wednesday on whether he would seek an additional term.

Arambel sentenced to 11 months

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Logan Robert Arambel

Logan Arambel, 20, of Holly, appeared Tuesday in Moffat County District Court for sentencing on a careless driving conviction.

After a De­­­cem­­ber 2008 accident, which resulted in the death of 62-year-old Wyoming resident John Barskdale, Arambel was charged with vehicular manslaughter, a Class 4 felony.

In an October 2009 trial, Arambel was convicted of the lesser-included charge of careless driving, a Class 1 traffic offense.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 11 months in county jail, 100 hours of community service and about $7,000 in fines.

The accident occurred Dec. 26, 2008, when Arambel was driving south on Colorado Highway 13 toward Craig in wintry conditions.

Arambel reportedly attempted to pass a semi-truck when he hit Barksdale’s vehicle head on.

Barksdale, a federal prosecutor with the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Wyoming, suffered severe head trauma and never regained consciousness after the accident.

Merwin plea hearing continued

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Tausha Merwin

Craig resident Tausha Merwin appeared in court Tuesday for a plea hearing.

The 14th Ju­­dic­­ial District At­­torney’s office requested a continuance, and the hearing was rescheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 17.

Merwin is charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony, for allegedly lying to police officials about an alleged sexual relationship between her and former Police Depar­tment Detective Ken Johnson.

Comments

native_craig_guy 4 years, 3 months ago

No surprise that our esteemed elected official got a deferred sentence. I wonder when the quality of our elected officials will go back up? we need some new people to run, because all of the good ones are tired of doing it over and over.

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George Robertson 4 years, 3 months ago

So are we to assume that you will be running native_craig_guy?

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native_craig_guy 4 years, 3 months ago

Why hello Nimrod. Although you seem adept at assumptions, I will not be running for public office anytime soon. I currently do not have the time available. Eventually when I free up more time I would entertain the thought. Besides there are many persons who are more qualified than myself for public office. But thanks for the vote of confidence.

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twin2175 4 years, 3 months ago

While I think we should talk about who should run for office, I really think the focus should be on the conduct of our elected officials. I understand that they are citizens just like the rest of us; however, I feel that they should set the example of how everyone in the city should act.

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GreyStone 4 years, 3 months ago

Seems to me that apathy is the problem when only 11% of the citizens turn out to vote therefore no one has room to complain.

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twin2175 4 years, 3 months ago

I think that the biggest reason only 11% of the citizens turn out is that they feel their vote does not matter. People have problems going out to vote when they do not have options. They have the option to pick the only name listed or don't have to submit their vote. It does not matter if they vote or not, that 1 person will get into office. We need more people that want to make a difference in our community to run for office. We don’t need career politicians; we need everyday citizens that want to see change, and that are willing to help make it happen. When the citizens see there are choices and that their vote does count and does matter, maybe they will be more apt to coming out to vote.

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