Vehicle theft suspect faces new charges |

Vehicle theft suspect faces new charges

Joe Moylan

Jarod Bays

A suspect in an August 2011 vehicle theft in Craig faces new charges in Moffat County Court.

Jarod Bays, 26, is charged with third-degree assault, criminal mischief and obstructing government operations, all misdemeanors, for his alleged involvement in a Thursday altercation with another inmate at the Moffat County Jail.

According to court reports filed by jail Sgt. Delores Crow, Bays instigated a fight with inmate Mark Wentling, 40, over a television remote control in a jail lounge.

Wentling has been in custody since October 2011 for his alleged involvement in a separate vehicle theft in Craig, according to court records.

Crow wrote that jail surveillance video shows Wentling and three other inmates sitting at a table playing cards.

Bays can be seen in the video "posturing" — pacing back and forth and flexing his muscles — moments before the fight began, her report states.

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While Bays was pacing, Wentling picked up the remote control, changed the channel and set the remote back on the table, according to the report.

The surveillance video reveals Bays picked up the remote control and threw it across the lounge breaking it into pieces.

He and Wentling exchanged words, then Bays head-butted Wentling in the face and pushed him, the report states.

Wentling lunged back at Bays and the two proceeded to throw several punches at one another, the report states.

The fight lasted a few moments before Crow intervened and ordered all inmates to return to their cells.

Wentling was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault and obstructing government operations for his alleged involvement in the altercation.

Bays appeared Tuesday before Judge Sandra Gardner in Moffat County Court for a preliminary hearing on the new charges.

He is scheduled to be sentenced at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 1 before Judge Shelley Hill in Moffat County District Court for his involvement in last year's vehicle theft and crash.

Jon Pfeifer, a Moffat County deputy district attorney, is prosecuting Bays in the vehicle theft case. Attorney Doug Timmerman is representing Bays.

According to court reports in that case, Bays pleaded guilty Oct. 24, 2011, to first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, a Class 4 felony, and driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless endangerment, both misdemeanors.

He faces eight to 11 years in prison.

Pfeifer said Tuesday he is not familiar yet with the new charges against Bays, but the new charges will likely have no effect on sentencing.

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