| CraigDailyPress.com

Craig police respond to crash: On the Record — Jan. 21

Craig Police Department

Monday, Jan. 21

1:31 a.m. In Craig, officers with the Craig Police Department responded to a report of a possible attempted suicide.

8:21 a.m. On the 200 block of Bilsing Avenue, officers responded to an abandoned vehicle call.

11:10 a.m. On the 400 block of Mack Lane, officers responded to a criminal mischief call.

11:45 a.m. In Craig, officers executed a warrant.

12:51 p.m. On the 600 block of Wickies Avenue, officers responded to a civil problem call.

2:12 p.m. On the 400 block of Yampa Avenue, officers responded to a civil problem call.

2:16 p.m. On the 800 block of Tucker Street, officers responded to an abandoned vehicle call.

5:24 p.m. On the 2000 block of Victory Way, officers responded to a property damage crash call.

7:16 p.m. Near the intersection of West Sixth and Breeze streets, officers responded to an injured animal call.

7:30 p.m. Near the intersection of East First and Ranney streets, officers assisted a motorist.

11:25 p.m. On the 300 block of Cedar Court, officers conducted a traffic stop.

Domestic violence suspect denies harming alleged victim

CRAIG — A man with a history of attempted murder and domestic violence charges denied allegations that he assaulted a woman during an appearance in a Moffat County courtroom Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Dustin Jackson, 32, of Craig, was arrested in March 2018 on several charges, including two counts of felony criminal attempt and two counts of attempted second-degree murder related to a domestic violence incident. According to a warrantless arrest affidavit, Jackson and a woman were staying at a hotel in Craig. When he awoke, he reportedly became agitated with the woman and slammed her head into the passenger window of a car.

This was the second such incident Jackson was alleged to have been involved in. According to the affidavit, the two reportedly got into an argument a week earlier, and Jackson has reportedly hit the woman more than 50 times and attempted to strangle her about 12 times.

On Jan 14, Jackson found himself in trouble with the law again after police responded to his home in Craig for a domestic violence call. Almost as soon as they arrived, Craig police said, they observed Jackson pacing, yelling, and kicking snow onto the victim, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed Jan. 15.

Upon further investigation, police noticed several injuries on the victim, including bruises, a swollen jaw, and petechiae in the victim's right eye. Police also noticed injuries to the victim's throat.

"I observed dark marks around (the victim's) throat," a Craig police officer said in the affidavit. "I asked her to tell me what happened."

That's when the victim told police about additional alleged abuse in the days before Jan. 14.

Police said it was then they placed Jackson under arrest, but not before finding a green leafy substance and a small pipe, along with several unused hypodermic needles.

Police said the also found a firearm in the residence.

According to the affidavit, Jackson was combative and uncooperative once in custody, threatening violence against police and himself.

"Jail staff decided to put Dustin in restraints," the affidavit said.

Apparently, Jackson was in and out of restraints in the days following his Jan. 14 arrest.

On Jan. 15, Jackson yelled obscenities at the judge and lawyers before storming out of the jail courtroom. Then, on Wednesday, Moffat County Jail staff said Jackson was so uncooperative and combative before his bond hearing via video conference, he stripped off his clothing and was sleeping.

Jail staff said the only way he would be able to safely appear before a judge was restrained, sedated, and unclothed. This prompted Moffat County Judge Sandra Gardner to postpone Jackson's bond hearing.

Not much had changed by Jan 17.

According to jail staff, Jackson was still being uncooperative and combative, prompting 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael A. O'Hara III, who was filling in for Gardner, to decide to have a bond hearing without Jackson present, as Jackson's defense counsel was reached via telephone conference.

O'Hara set Jackson's bond at $5,000 for the Jan. 14 incident for a total $5,750 in active bonds.

On Tuesday, Jackson again appeared in Gardner's courtroom and was less combative, but rocked quickly back and forth in his seat while Gardner read his rights. It wasn't until Gardner read the stipulations of a protective order mandating Jackson avoid any form of contact with the alleged victim that he became more agitated.

"I wouldn't hurt somebody that I care for," Jackson said aloud. "I wouldn't hurt her."

Gardner explained that the charges Jackson was facing were allegations until proven otherwise.

"If it's an allegation, how come I'm still sitting in jail for something I didn't do?" Jackson asked before hurriedly removing himself from the jail video room.

Jackson's next court appearance is set for 3 p.m. Feb. 19.

Contact Clay Thorp at 970-875-1795 or cthorp@CraigDailyPress.com.

Top 10 Craig Press stories for Jan. 13 to 19: Court kerfuffles, train troubles, weather woes

Story; website pageviews

1. Craig woman to serve six months in jail after pleading guilty to arson; 2,583

Craig woman to serve six months in jail after pleading guilty to arson

2. Geoffrey Duzik found incompetent to proceed on attempted murder charges; 1,802

Geoffrey Duzik found incompetent to proceed on attempted murder charges

3. Man with history of strangulation charges too combative to appear in court; 1,728

Man with history of strangulation charges too combative to appear in court

4. Highway rollover kills driver near Walden; 1,631

Highway rollover kills driver near Walden

5. Gilcrest pastor accused of illegal sexual contact struck, killed by train; 1,503

Gilcrest pastor accused of illegal sexual contact struck, killed by train

6. Train derailment near Oak Creek closes roads; 1,241

Train derailment near Oak Creek closes roads

7. Moffat, Routt County Schools will open despite power outage, storm; 1,126

UPDATED 1 p.m.: Moffat, Routt County Schools will open despite power outage, storm

8. Intermittent power outages continue to impact Yampa Valley Electric Association customers Friday; 1,122

UPDATED at 1:15 p.m.: Intermittent power outages continue to impact Yampa Valley Electric Association customers Friday

9. Professional bull rider dies at National Western Stock Show in Denver; 1,111

Professional bull rider dies at National Western Stock Show in Denver

10. Mountain lions acting aggressively in West Glenwood; 927

Mountain lions acting aggressively in West Glenwood

Snowy, slick conditions see myriad motorists in need of help: On the Record — Jan. 18 through 20

Craig Police Department

Friday, Jan. 18

3:26 a.m. At Rams Horn Trailer Park, officers with the Craig Police Department helped a resident contact the city when a major water line broke.

3:49 a.m. On Hospital Loop Road, a driver crashed into a green electrical box on the side of the road causing damage. Officers took a report.

5:42 a.m. Officers assisted seven motorists stuck in the snow Friday morning and helped each driver get back on their way.

7:20 a.m. On the 900 block of Sloan Circle, a vehicle reportedly backed into a garage. No injuries were reported, and a report was taken.  

9:33 a.m. Near the intersection of West Fourth and Ranney streets, drivers of a Dodge Durango and a Dodge Ram collided. No injuries were reported, and one of the drivers was cited.

9:34 a.m. In Craig, officers responded to a report of child abuse or neglect. The report is under investigation.

10:25 a.m. On the 700 block of Barclay Street, a person reported items were stolen from his vehicle sometime in the past four months. Officers are investigating.

10:54 a.m. Near the intersection of East Sixth Street and Yampa Avenue, officers received a call reporting a crash between two pickup trucks — one white and one green — both with snow plows. When officers arrived, both vehicles had left the area.

1:09 p.m. At the Public Safety Center, a person wanted to speak with an officer about harassment. A report was taken.

1:15 p.m. In Craig, officers responded to a Safe2Tell report, which is under investigation.

3:32 p.m. On the 2300 block of West Victory Way, a person was suspected of having shoplifted an item from the business. Officers are investigating.

3 40 p.m.  On the 500 block of First Avenue West, officers responded when a Jeep collided with a Subaru Outback, resulting in property damage. Both vehicles were drivable.

Saturday, Jan. 19

3:03 a.m. Near Subway, officers investigated a report of a suspicious vehicle. When they arrived, they found a person whose vehicle was stuck near the storage units. The person was able to get unstuck and on their way.

7:59 a.m. At Loaf ‘N Jug, officers responded to a report of suspicious vehicle. Officers learned the occupants had pulled over to sleep and would be getting back on the road to Wyoming.

12:18 p.m. At Bear Valley Inn, officers responded to a report of a hit-and-run crash. The person reporting the incident said a white Nissan, possibly with a snow plow, had caused damage.

12:29 p.m. On the 500 block of Ledford Street, a reported a possible fraud. The person believed someone had made a charge on her debit card and wanted assistance. A report was taken, and the incident is under investigation.

8:16 p.m. Near the intersection of Victory Way and U.S. Highway 40, officers responded when a Dodge Journey collided with a deer. The deer survived the initial crash but had to be euthanized to prevent suffering from its injuries.  

Sunday, Jan. 20

10:13 a.m In Craig, officers responded to a report of alleged child abuse or neglect. The report is under investigation.

12:44 p.m. In Craig, officers responded to a possible drug violation. The incident is under investigation.

3:40 p.m. At Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, a group of underaged children were reportedly smoking behind the building. Officers were unable to locate them.

3:40 p.m. On the 400 block of Rose Street, someone found drug paraphernalia and reported it to officers.

3:46 p.m. On the 700 block of Breeze Street, a person reported that a group of people had been asked to leave, but they had not left and were starting to get loud. When officers arrived, all parties were advised of the civil process.

6:48 p.m. On the 500 block of Legion Street, two girls with blond hair and ponytails were reportedly looking into the windows of houses. When the reporting party approached the girls, they fled, and officers were unable to locate them.

Teen with BB gun arrested near Grand Junction High School

GRAND JUNCTION — A 17-year-old boy was arrested after a witness reported seeing him with a gun in the parking lot of Grand Junction High School.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Friday the weapon turned out to be a BB gun that appeared to be a handgun.

The boy was arrested on suspicion of menacing, carrying a weapon on school grounds, obstructing a peace officer and other charges. His name wasn't released.

The high school, a middle school and Colorado Mesa University were locked down after the witness called 911 around midday Friday. An elementary school told students and staff to shelter in place.

Officers found the teen about seven minutes after receiving the call.

Grand Junction Police, the Mesa County Sheriff's Department, Colorado State Patrol and school district safety personnel responded.

Steamboat woman arrested, charged with distributing heroin

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – A Steamboat Springs woman was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Stephanie Dye has been charged with distributing fentanyl, a schedule II controlled substance, and black tar heroin, a schedule I controlled substance, to at least one local man.

The man overdosed in November of last year after injecting a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that Dye allegedly provided. This was the second time that the man overdosed from fentanyl Dye had given him, according to the arrest affidavit.

Stephanie Dye

This arrest comes amid a nationwide opioid epidemic. Since 2013, illegally manufactured fentanyl has been linked to a growing number of overdoses. In 2017, the odds of dying from an opioid overdose in the U.S. surpassed the odds of dying in a car accident.

Steamboat Springs Police Department officers responded to an overdose call at Dye’s home on Nov. 12. Officers were able to successfully inject the man with Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of narcotics. While in the house, officers noticed several needles in Dye’s bathroom.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors may prescribe it to treat pain, but most overdose deaths involve illegally produced fentanyl.

The drug is often mixed with heroin but has been increasingly cut with other illicit substances like cocaine to increase its euphoric effects, according to the CDC.

Dye admitted to using fentanyl and heroin in the past. She said she would mix the drugs using a spoon disinfected with alcohol. A combination of fentanyl and heroin mixed by Dye was involved in the November overdose case that sent a man to the emergency room.

The same man overdosed on fentanyl in April of 2017 using fentanyl that Dye had allegedly bought. She said that was the first time the two had used the drug together since meeting at a rehab program several years ago.

Dye said she bought the fentanyl — colloquially known as China White — through an online dealer, and the drugs arrived in the mail.

Overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl have spiked in recent years. The most recent data from the CDC shows a 47 percent increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids from 2016 to 2017.

Colorado saw a 53.8 percent increase during that same time period. About 28,400 people died from such overdoses in 2017. Colorado accounted for 112 of those deaths.

Driver in 2017 fatal crash south of Kremmling gets prison sentence

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — Nearly a year-and-a-half after he was initially arrested on charges of vehicular homicide, Denver resident Brandon Wilson learned his fate in court on Thursday.

Fourteenth Judicial District Court Judge Mary Hoak sentenced Wilson to five years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, the maximum sentence he faced in the case. The sentence was handed down after Wilson pleaded guilty to one count of reckless vehicular homicide and one count of driving under the influence as part of a plea agreement that limited his potential prison time.

The guilty plea and sentencing came after emotional court proceedings that included comments from Wilson, his legal counsel, the district attorney’s office, Hoak and two of the victims in the case.

“This is the biggest regret of my life,” Wilson told Hoak, his voice shaking as he struggled to contain his emotions. “Words cannot explain how much regret and remorse I have. Every morning I wake up and wish I could go back and change the events of that day. I take full responsibility and I am sorry we all have to be here under these circumstances. I am ready to accept what the court finds just.”

Speaking on behalf of Wilson was the widow of Brian Ward, the man whose death led to Wilson’s vehicular homicide charge, who told the court that she did not blame Wilson for what happened.

Ward and Wilson were close friends and were traveling together in the same vehicle on Highway 9 south of Kremmling in August 2017. According to law enforcement reports at the time, Wilson was driving northbound on Highway 9 when he pulled onto the northbound shoulder of the highway and proceeded to make a u-turn into the southbound lane. As he did a pickup truck driving behind Wilson struck the driver’s side of his vehicle.

The collision resulted in Ward’s death, as well as injuries for the other occupants of Wilson’s vehicle and occupants of the second vehicle. A horse being hauled in a trailer by the pickup truck was also injured.

Hoak stressed the difficulty of the decision regarding Wilson’s sentence. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Wilson could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

“This is a terrible case, that I have agonized about,” Hoak said. “While I may not have done here what the victims wanted I heard them. My heart breaks for them.”

Hoak said she felt duty bound to impose the sentence she chose because of the seriousness of the crimes committed by Wilson. Her comments came in light of the fact that the Ward family and other victims in the case, who are friends of Wilson, had previously supported a lesser sentence.

“I cannot tell this community that this is OK,” Hoak said. “People need to understand that you cannot take a life and walk away.”

Hoak said she believed Wilson did not need rehabilitation, that he would not commit further crimes in his life and that the support shown by his friends and family, including the victims in the case, were evidence that he would succeed in life after completing his sentence.

“At some point you have to move forward,” Hoak said to Wilson. “Once you serve your sentence you need to forgive yourself. In my opinion you owe it to Brian Ward to live your life. It is a terrible thing that happened here but from what I know Brian would want you to live your life and do the things he didn’t get to do.”

After reading Wilson’s sentence, Hoak noted that he would not serve the entirety of the five years and that he would most likely be released early for good behavior. Wilson, who has remained out on bond as his case proceeded, was remanded into custody at the end of the hearing.

Craig police respond to several animal calls: On the Record — Jan. 17

Craig Police Department

Thursday, Jan. 17

7:45 a.m. Near the intersection of West Ninth Street and Finley Lane, officers with Craig Police Department engaged in a traffic stop.

8 a.m. Near the intersection of East Seventh Street and Yampa Avenue, officers responded to an animal complaint. Craig police responded to at least four other animal complaints throughout the day Thursday.

8:10 a.m. In Craig, officers responded to a Safe2Tell call. It was the first of three such reports received Thursday, and all are under investigation. 

9:35 a.m. On the 900 block of Finley Lane, officers responded to an alarm call.

1:48 p.m. On the 800 block of West First Street, officers responded to a civil problem call.

2:17 p.m. Near the intersection of Fourth and Teller streets, officers responded to a possible drug violation/incident.

3:53 p.m. Police served a warrant in Craig.

7:02 p.m. On the 900 block of Yampa Avenue, officers responded to a threat call.

7:24 p.m. Officers responded to a reported domestic violence incident in Craig.

11:22 p.m. On the 500 block of School Street, officers responded to a report of an assault.

Editor’s Note: Officers were unavailable Friday to provide further information on the above incidents.

Man with history of strangulation charges too combative to appear in court

CRAIG — A Craig man with a history of attempted murder charges had his bond set in a Moffat County court Thursday, Jan. 17.

Dustin Jackson, 32, was arrested in March 2018 on several charges, including two counts of felony criminal attempt and two counts of attempted second-degree murder related to a domestic violence incident. According to a warrantless arrest affidavit, Jackson and a woman were staying at a hotel in Craig. When he awoke, he reportedly became agitated with the woman and slammed her head into the passenger window of a car.

According to the affidavit, the pair returned to the hotel, where the incident escalated. Jackson allegedly grabbed the woman by the throat. When the woman attempted to contact authorities by knocking the hotel phone off the hook and pressing the emergency button, Jackson hung up the phone, according to the arrest affidavit. He then pushed the woman against a wall, strangling her with one hand and threatening to kill her, the affidavit stated.

Jackson reportedly held the woman down with his forearm across her throat before stopping and leaving the room.

This was the second such incident Jackson was alleged to have been involved in. According to the affidavit, the two reportedly got into an argument a week earlier, when Jackson allegedly threw the woman into the bedroom door, putting a hole in it, before attempting to strangle her. Jackson reportedly caused about $270 in damages to items in the pair’s shared apartment.

According to the affidavit, Jackson has reportedly hit the woman more than 50 times and attempted to strangle her about 12 times.

The victim showed officers bruises Jackson's violence reportedly left.

On Jan 14, Jackson found himself in trouble with the law again after police responded to his home in Craig for a domestic violence call. Almost as soon as they arrived, Craig police said, they observed Jackson pacing, yelling, and kicking snow onto the victim, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed Jan. 15.

Upon further investigation, police noticed several injuries on the victim, including bruises, a swollen jaw, and petechiae in the victim's right eye. Police also noticed injuries to the victim's throat.

"I observed dark marks around (the victim's) throat," a Craig police officer said in the affidavit. "I asked her to tell me what happened."

That's when the victim told police about additional alleged abuse in the days before Jan. 14.

Police said it was then they placed Jackson under arrest, but not before finding a green leafy substance and a small pipe, along with several unused hypodermic needles.

Police said the also found a firearm in the residence Jackson allegedly possessed.

According to the affidavit, Jackson was combative and uncooperative once in custody, threatening violence against police and himself.

"Jail staff decided to put Dustin in restraints," the affidavit said.

Apparently, Jackson has been in and out of restraints in the Moffat County Jail ever since.

On Tuesday, Jackson yelled obscenities at the judge and lawyers before storming out of the jail courtroom. Then, on Wednesday, Moffat County Jail staff said Jackson was so uncooperative and combative before his bond hearing via video conference, he stripped off his clothing and was sleeping.

Jail staff said the only way he would be able to safely appear before a judge was restrained, sedated, and unclothed. This prompted Moffat County Judge Sandra Gardner to postpone Jackson's bond hearing until Thursday.

But not much had changed by then.

According to jail staff, Jackson was still being uncooperative and combative, prompting 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael A. O'Hara III, who was filling in for Gardner, to decide to have a bond hearing without Jackson present, as Jackson's defense counsel was reached via telephone conference.

O'Hara set Jackson's bond at $5,000 for the Jan. 14 incident.

Jackson's next appearance is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 22 at the Moffat County Courthouse.

Eleanor C. Hasenbeck contributed to this report. Contact Clay Thorp at 970-875-1795 or cthorp@CraigDailyPress.com.

Police respond to possible sexual assault: On the Record — Jan. 16

Craig Police Department

Wednesday, Jan. 16

4:26 a.m. Officers with the Craig Police Department responded to a domestic violence call in Craig.

5:01 a.m. On the 800 block of Columbine Street, officers responded to a road kill call.

7:54 a.m. On the 1300 block of West Victory Way, officers responded to a stolen vehicle call.

8:13 a.m. Near the intersection of Washington Street and Craig City Park, officers responded to a possible crash with injuries.

8:35 a.m. Police responded to a possible child abuse/neglect call in Craig.

10:14 a.m. On the 1600 block of Yampa Avenue, officers responded to a report of a civil problem.

11:34 a.m. On the 700 block of Rose Street, officers responded to call related to a possible property damage crash.

3:42 p.m. In Craig, officers responded to a sexual assault call.

7:05 p.m. On the 600 block of Finley Lane, officers responded to a theft call.

Editor’s Note: Officers were unavailable Thursday to provide further information on the above incidents.