Judge sentences Craig woman to jail term

Tausha Merwin to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail



Tausha Merwin

At a glance

• Craig resident Tausha Merwin sentenced to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail after being convicted of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony, in July.

• Merwin also sentenced to 30 days of work release, three years of probation, and ordered to pay $3,726 in fines.

• Merwin allegedly lied to Craig Police Department officials about her alleged relationship with Ken Johnson, a former detective and officer with the All Crimes Enforcement Team.

• Merwin has prior felony convictions including a 2007 conviction of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance one gram or less, a Class 6 felony, and a 2008 conviction of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance more than one gram, a Class 4 felony.

Judge Shelley Hill had stern words for Craig resident Tausha Merwin before sentencing Tuesday afternoon in Moffat County District Court.

“I do not hesitate in telling you, do not come before me or Judge (Michael) O’Hara again, because you will not like it,” she said.

Hill sentenced Merwin to serve 30 days in Moffat County Jail.

Merwin was convicted July 14 of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony, after a three-day jury trial. She pleaded not guilty to the charge Feb. 17.

Prosecutors alleged Merwin lied to Craig Police Department officials about her alleged relationship with Ken Johnson, a former detective and member of the All Crimes Enforcement Team.

In addition to 30 days in jail, Hill also sentenced Merwin to 30 days of work release and three years of probation. She was ordered to pay $3,726 in fines, $1,800 of which stem from probation services.

Tuesday’s sentencing also included penalties for a prior deferred judgment.

In 2008, she was convicted of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance more than one gram, a Class 4 felony, according to court records.

She was also convicted in 2007, according to court records, of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance one gram or less, a Class 6 felony.

Jon Pfeifer, a Moffat County deputy district attorney, recommended Hill sentence Merwin to 10 years in prison, considering her felony conviction in July, the deferred sentence and the previous felony conviction in 2007.

Pfeifer said the case involving Merwin and Johnson has had a “substantial impact on this community.”

Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith represented Merwin and recommended his client receive two years of probation.

Merwin addressed the judge before sentencing.

“I would like to apologize for my actions,” she said. “I realize that my behavior didn’t just affect me, it affected a lot of people around me. I respectfully accept whatever sentence.”

Smith said Merwin has “accepted responsibility for these offenses.”

“She has shown remorse,” he said. “She has been accountable for her actions.”

Hill said Merwin’s choices have been poor.

“If you continue to engage in the behaviors that you have demonstrated to this court and to the drug court and to your probation officers, you do put this community at risk,” she said.

“Why you would play with your future the way you did while you were on probation on two separate cases … is absolutely beyond me. It can’t feel good for you right now having absolutely no control over what happens to you and I hope you learn from that.

“(This) is a terrible place for you to be.”

Pfeifer said he was “not especially happy” with Hill’s decision, but that he did his job and made his “argument and let the judge decide.”

ACET commander Garrett Wiggins said it was a “good feeling” to have closure on the case considering “all the hard work the (district attorney’s) office did on this investigation.”

Joe DeAngelo, chief investigator for the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said he was also glad to have closure on the case.

“For Garrett, myself and our office in general, this has been a two-year nightmare that finally came to an end today, and everyone is happy to have the closure,” he said.


twin2175 6 years, 7 months ago

Let me be the first to say that the sentence she received was nothing more than another slap on the wrist for yet another felony offense. What will it take to hold people accountable for their actions, and the crimes they commit?


Exres 6 years, 7 months ago

The Judge warned this criminal that she better not find herself in Moffat County Court again, or else! Considering the soft treatment by Moffat's courts, I really doubt she took it seriously. A longer jail sentence and much stiffer fine would served as better deterrence.


Exres 6 years, 7 months ago

"Would HAVE served as better deterrence" (my editing error). Criminals tend to go where they won't be "Hassled", which sounds more and more like Craig. It's up to the DA and the Courts to prosecute and punish criminals to a degree consistent with the severity of their crimes.


justmyview84 6 years, 7 months ago

what's up with these judges? this is a sad and scary thing for us citizens in moffat county who are really trying to raise our children with better morals and standards. this system is just showing these kids they can do whatever they want and nothing will happen to them. forget trying to scare them because they read the papers and see that these people are just getting a slap on the wrists. "next time" ya there will be a next time, there obviously has been a lot of next times for Tausha and she's still able to get out of anything more than a few weeks in jail...pitiful. next time you see a kid out of hand..don't blame the parents. blame those in this system that doesn't set examples.


Tmerwin 6 years, 7 months ago

Let me tell you what really happened, I was extensively evaluated before my sentencing by a professional. My whole life up untill now. All the wonderful parts of my life that none of you know about were included in my pre sentence report. Obviously the judge used her better judgement because she got a chance to see the real me and not what you people know from your so acurate craig daily press. Yes, I had been a drug addict for a long time. But since were all being ignorant here, I was not a worthless peice till I came to your town. Your community ruined my life, I got high with your kids and ended up in your court room. But its ok because I have made it beyond you. If any of you have ever stood in front of a judge and faced ten years in prison, you would'nt even be on this message board, I dont expect you perfect people to have any idea what that really feels like. I have done alot of positive changes in my life but that doesnt make a juicy story. I made one last mistake because I fell in love with ken johnson and I lied about it. Im sure that, that was so bad that I should loose ten years of my life so you people could rejoice that the evil sinner who has cast such a horrible fear over your community would be locked up and your children would be safe to be outdoors!!! C'mon, half of this towns children have been molested and if it was'nt your child being the victim, it was you or your child who was the molester. So guess what I dont think very well of you either craig. I thank God that the Judge was fair. This goes to show why she is in that seat and thank god that you are not. Sadly you people remind me of so many from history that burned people at the stake over stupid half minded and delusional ideas. God help you when its your turn to be judged


Exres 6 years, 7 months ago

Merwin is blaming others for actions of her own making and responsibility. I remember Craig as being a good community, despite it's having a fair share of problems. The DA's Office was correct in recommending a lengthy prison sentence, especially considering her 2 prior felony convictions. I hope Ms. Merwin will capitalize on her very fortunate break, and clean herself up.


native_craig_guy 6 years, 7 months ago

So a repeat felon can only get thirty days in jail for a class 4 felony. Apparently the influence of Ms. Merwin extends far beyond where we originally thought it did. I think that it is disgusting that she only got thirty days in jail for a felony. TMerwin stated that the pre-sentencing investigation showed, "all the wonderful parts of her life". She posts this silly post on here regarding how our crappy town ruined her life and somehow we held a gun to her head and forced her to make poor decisions. Drugs+Felony+Lack of Remorse+External Locust of Control+Taking No Responsibility=MAXIMUM SENTENCE not 30 DAYS!!!! There is no motivation for her to do anything different next time. Ms. Merwin is exactly like most criminals, I had a bad childhood, no one loved me so I became a loser. WRONG!! Childhoods are like armpits, everyone has them and to some degree they all stink. The problem is Ms. Merwin, she apparently has a history of making extremely poor choices and the only person to blame is herself. I for one hope that after 30 days she leaves this town and takes a bus load of other losers with her. Empty out Columbine or Frontier Apartments while she is leaving.


mustang 6 years, 7 months ago

Native_craig_guy your post is right on and I couldn't agree with you more. Hopefully when she is done getting her slap on the hand, she and Ken Johnson will leave and make this a better community for the rest of us.


twin2175 6 years, 7 months ago

Native; I agree with you. Merwin looks down on our town, and says that it is our town, our children that got her into drugs. Regardless of what led her into this life of criminal behavior, if she thinks so poorly of our city, LEAVE!!! GET OUT, and never come back. We have no use for you, and our town is much better off without your marriage-wrecking behavior or your poor excuse for a boyfriend, Ken Johnson. I can understand why our judges might have been lenient on TM the first, or second time she broke the law. However, this is third go-around with the Judicial system, and the court should have taken no mercy on her.


COWORKER 6 years, 7 months ago

Ms Merwin is a master manipulator. She was given a second chance at employment upon the request of then Officer Ken Johnson. Co workers supported her at Drug Court appearances, encouraged her , offered her housing and celebrated her drug court graduation. She was told almost daily how proud They were of her progress . After the Jerome Barry trial one Juror even stopped at work to give a gift and congratulate Tausha oh her success in kicking drug addiction. How was this repaid? A very lurid report of her of her sex and drug life was published . It involved at least 5 coworkers and texts written by Tausha named at least 4 men she was having sex with.Three she professed her love to and at least 2 she planned on having a baby with. All of this was a matter of public record. So many requests for this information were made the court had no choice but to publish it on the moffat county court website for all to read. This caused a great deal of pain for a lot of people. How do you think Ken's wife Kathy felt reading this?? How about the spouses of the other men involved? There were a lot of innocent people affected by Ms Merwins actions. I actually feel sorry for former officer Johnson. He has been manipulated too. He is just to DUMB to figure it out .The Judge in this case made a really poor desicion . I predict that Ms Merwin and Mr Johnson will be back in the papers soon. Someone like Tausha just doesnt change.When so many felonies go unpunished no lessons are learned. I think it's time for Mr Johnson and Ms Merwin to pack up and leave town.


justmyview84 6 years, 7 months ago

Well my response to Tmerwin is this: I've been on the drug side of this town..with you as a matter of fact. I am one of those "kids" who you started on meth. Coming from THAT side I can tell you how I did like the "real" you, but guess what? that's not the side you have shown. you did wrong and yes becuase of the fact that you have been starting the kids in this town on meth for over 10 years..and no I'm not stretching the truth here..I think you should have went to prison. I can sit here and blame you, or anyone else for my wrongs, how I got caught up in the drugs..but guess what?? I don't. I blame myself, and am proud of myself that it didn't take as much for me to get off it as it's taken you. And to sit there and blame others for your wrongs is funny, because aren't you the one that makes your own choices? Yes I know how meth controls a person, but come on you had so many chances..here and in OTHER towns too..shall we forget it's not only in Craig you've gotten into trouble?? You had a brain when you started using, you could have used it to stop. SO don't sit there and blame others for you. Yes Thank God you didn't go for 10 years, maybe there is a reason. Hopefully you take it and learn from it..I don't wish you ill will, I just think EVERYONE should be held accountable for their actions. And with your many charges, and your lying, the lives you tainted, all that wrapped up into one..I think they were way too easy. but i guess only time will tell..


Cole White 6 years, 7 months ago

Please remember that this was a non-violent crime. She was using and not dealing. It costs tax payers around $80K per year to keep just one person locked away and locking up people who are not a threat to society (which the Judge doesn't feel she is) or to them self is a waste of time an money. Punish people with service and fines (ok and a little time) and keep them out of the jail system that turns small time offenders into career criminals. Get them the help they need at a fraction of the cost and put them back to work in society.

The jails are over crowded because we have too many users of drugs in the system so the pushers, dealers, and manufacturers of the drugs walk the streets. The hardcore criminals need to be caned in the streets before being locked away or worse, but the rest just need to pay back to society what they have taken away. Its a pretty simple concept.


justmyview84 6 years, 7 months ago

I completely respect and understand what you are talking about highway. And yes it's true for minor criminals, some of the very same people I have known for years have just been sent away, but the problem is they never got the option for help. This woman did, and it's a fact that the drug court wasn't her first chance for a new start, she was also in rehab in years past. When she gets out it'll probably be more of the same.. putting up with her spreading meth around our kids, completely disrespecting both our community and legal system, getting away with nothing for punishments..and believe me this sentence is nothing for someone who's use to county, all the while incurring costs of some kind. I understand people can change, and the judge is giving her another chance, I also respectfully disagree. But either way it costs us here in this community more money. Plus I agree with what you said. The jails are too crowded with users, not dealers ect. But if you think TM isn't on that list your wrong.


jackmac 6 years, 4 months ago

Hahaha, I live in Fernley, Nevada and I remember when her family lived here. I also talked with her cousin who is now a candidate for a county position who says he doesn't even believe that he could be related to someone so horrific. It's funny that even members of her own family are rejecting her...


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