County commissioner gets deferred sentence |

County commissioner gets deferred sentence

Merwin, Arambel also in court Tuesday

Nicole Inglis

— 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.

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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

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

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.

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