Craig man convicted in auto theft sentenced to 10 years in prison |

Craig man convicted in auto theft sentenced to 10 years in prison

Joe Moylan

Jarod Bays

A Moffat County District Court judge sentenced a Craig man to 10 years in prison Wednesday for his role in an August 2011 auto theft.

The judge said 26-year-old Jarod Bays' prior criminal history also factored into her decision.

"We've been joined at the hip for almost as long as I've been a judge, and I had so much hope for you," Judge Shelley Hill told Bays. "But, Mr. (Jon) Pfeifer is right. I have been too lenient with you and you're going to get sober because I am sentencing you to 10 years in (the Department of Corrections).

"I hope your days of being a tough guy are over because if you're a tough guy in prison, you're going to get beaten to a pulp."

Bays pleaded guilty in October 2011 before Hill to aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree, a Class 4 felony, and driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless endangerment, both misdemeanors.

Hill sentenced Bays to 10 years in the vehicle theft case.

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She also handed down two additional sentences stemming from incidents that occurred in 2006 and 2008 for possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance, a misdemeanor, and witness/victim intimidation, a Class 4 felony.

Bays received concurrent sentences of 18 months and 10 years in prison for those charges, respectively.

In his closing statements, Pfeifer, Moffat County deputy district attorney, said the legal system has been too lenient with offenders in the past, including Bays.

Pfeifer said Bays is "out of control," citing his involvement in a Jan. 19 fight inside Moffat County Jail, where Bays was in custody.

Charges in that incident were dropped, according to court records.

"Defendants have the tendency to portray themselves in the best possible light at sentencing," the prosecutor said. "Mr. Bays is clearly not at a point where he can abide by the rules of jail let alone society's.

"The system has failed Mr. Bays and that is why we are here today."

Pfeifer played for the court a telephone recording of Bays boasting about the car theft to an ex-girlfriend while at the jail.

"I (expletive) up, I thought that Lexus was a spaceship," Bays said in the recording. "I didn't know you could fly a Lexus.

"Did you read the (Craig Daily Press) article on it? I was going 55, 60 (miles per hour), hit a curb and jumped that (expletive)."

Pfeifer asked the court to sentence Bays to seven years in prison and an additional four years to run consecutively in the witness intimidation case.

Defense attorney Douglas Timmerman asked the court to uphold an originally agreed upon sentence of eight years as recommended by the probation department.

He argued that his client has "redemptive qualities."

"There is no doubt that is my client on tape and the recording is just a snippet of hours of conversations," Timmerman said. "He was showing off at the time, he no longer believes he's a tough guy, and I know in his heart he does not mean the things he said as they are portrayed in the recording."

Bays addressed the court just before sentencing.

"I did get hope by getting (methamphetamine) out of my life, but I got into alcohol before I was ready," Bays said. "I take responsibility for all my actions."

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“We’ve been joined at the hip for almost as long as I’ve been a judge and I had so much hope for you. … I hope your days of being a tough guy are over because if you’re a tough guy in prison, you’re going to get beaten to a pulp.”

— Moffat County District Court Judge Shelley Hill to Jarod Bays, 26, at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing in Moffat County District Court

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