Jury convicts 32-year-old man of kidnapping
December 23, 2008
After four days of hearing arguments and testimony from more than 20 witnesses, a Moffat County jury returned with guilty verdicts Friday night on all counts against a 32-year-old Craig man.
The jury began deliberating about 6:30 p.m. Friday and returned just after 10 p.m. with its verdicts in Moffat County District Court.
James Jerome Barry was found guilty on seven felony charges, the most serious being second-degree kidnapping, a Class 2 felony. A conviction for a Class 2 felony carries a mandatory 8 to 24 years sentence.
He also was convicted of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping, a Class 3 felony, second-degree assault, a Class 4 felony, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault and menacing, both Class 5 felonies, and robbery and criminal extortion, both Class 4 felonies.
Barry is the fourth person convicted in connection with the case.
Steve Casias, Ramona Brassard, and Megan Crook previously had pleaded guilty to charges and been sentenced to prison or jail.
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“The convictions stem from events that occurred on Sept. 17, 2007, through Sept. 19, 2007,” the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office wrote in a press release. “After convincing the victim to enter his vehicle, Mr. Barry, with co-defendants Ramona Brassard and Steve Casias, took the victim outside the Craig city limits, where she was forced to strip, assaulted and strangled.
“Later, the three took the victim back to Craig where they robbed her of various items and threatened to kill her if she reported these events to police.”
Crook also was involved with the victim, but in separate incidents.
The victim testified during the trial, which lasted four days last week. She recounted her story to the jury, of her involvement with the people who took and assaulted her, and the night in question.
Barry also testified and denied the allegations.
Barry, who is in custody and has prior convictions, is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Feb. 2 in District Court. A pre-sentencing report on Barry is being prepared.
Jeremy Snow, deputy district attorney in the 14th Judicial District, handled the case for the state.
He said he would make a recommendation to the court on Barry’s sentence but will review the pre-sentencing report before determining what his recommendation will be.
In other court news:
• A plea hearing for a former Moffat County employee accused of distributing drugs while at work was continued Thursday in Moffat County Court.
Carla Roloff, a former Moffat County Social Services’ staffer in the Dinosaur office, is charged with two counts of distributing a Schedule 2 controlled substance, a Class 3 felony.
She was arrested in June on suspicion of selling methamphetamine out of her office at least once, law enforcement officials said.
• One of three Craig men that state officials arrested Dec. 11 for suspected poaching crimes pleaded guilty to charges at his first court appearance in Moffat County Court.
David Park, 37, pleaded to two counts of hunting without a license and two counts of illegal possession of wildlife, all misdemeanors. He was sentenced to pay $3,695 in total fines and fees, and to relinquish his Remington hunting rifle.
The other two men arrested in the case – Jeremiah Tyson, 32, and John Davidson, 40 – are scheduled for a bond appearance at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 6 in county court.
The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has not filed formal charges against either of the two suspects, according to court records.
Tyson was arrested on suspicion of willful destruction of big game, a Class 5 felony, three counts of hunting without a license, and illegally possessing three or more animals, both misdemeanors.
Davidson was arrested on suspicion of five counts of willful destruction of big game, a Class 5 felony, 10 counts of hunting without a license, and a count each of illegally possessing three or more animals and waste of edible game meat, all misdemeanors.