Blue River robbery suspect receives mom’s support
April 23, 2014
Bryan Orr, 26, was scheduled to appear Monday, March 17 in Summit County District Court for a disposition hearing, but the case was reset to 9 a.m. March 31.
Fifth Judicial Deputy District Attorney John Franks, who is prosecuting Orr, said the hearing was rescheduled because the defendant is considering contracting a private attorney.
Orr is charged in Summit County district court with two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class 3 felony; one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, a Class 4 felony; one count of menacing, a Class 5 felony; and one count each of theft and conspiracy to commit theft, both misdemeanors.
The charges also include a crime of violence attachment, which would require a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years in the Colorado Department of Corrections should Orr plead or be found guilty of the charges.
“Please tell me how I can tell (Orr’s sisters) that honesty, loyalty and bravery does not matter in this day and age? Please tell me how I can tell them that their brother, who is their hero, is getting punished by the same system he fought to protect.”
In a letter to 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown
Although little happened Monday in district court, Orr's mother, Sharon, of Maine, has been busy this month petitioning for leniency on behalf of her son. In a March 9 letter to 5th Judicial District Chief Judge Mark Thompson, Sharon Orr asked the court to persuade the 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office to drop the crime of violence attachment, citing her son's lack of criminal history and military service with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Sharon Orr also highlighted her son's ambition to become a police officer, but said a felony conviction would prohibit him from owning or carrying a firearm.
"Bryan has accepted that he will be convicted on the felony charge, which for him is punishment since he will no longer be able to own (or) carry a firearm," Sharon Orr said in the letter. "The felony conviction, quite obviously, has (and) will change the course of his future.
"That, for him, is punishment. To not remove the crime of violence attachment, mandating prison, is excessive and unjust."
In a supplementary March 11 letter to 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown, Sharon Orr asked why her son was not eligible for a lighter charge, citing a July 2012 letter to the editor of the Summit Daily News in which Brown, who was campaigning at the time, said, "Veterans in trouble need our help."
"Please tell me how I can tell (Orr's sisters) that honesty, loyalty and bravery does not matter in this day and age?" Sharon Orr wrote in the letter. "Please tell me how I can tell them that their brother, who is their hero, is getting punished by the same system he fought to protect."
Although Franks declined to discuss the specifics, he said Monday that the district attorney's office has extended a plea bargain deal to Orr, which would remain valid until Orr's next hearing later this month in district court. He did not say whether or not dropping the crime of violence attachment is included in the current offer.
The charges against Orr stem from allegations that he and an accomplice, Kasey Hill, 27, held an individual at gunpoint in December 2013 and robbed him of money and a stash of marijuana, according to court records.
The victim reported that he flagged down Orr and Hill in a parking lot and asked them for a ride to his friend's house in Blue River. Somewhere south of Breckenridge, one of the men allegedly pulled their vehicle over to the side of the road, pulled out a handgun and demanded the victim's identification and other property, according to a Summit County Sheriff's Office news release. After the victim complied, the suspects drove him back to Breckenridge and dropped him off on south Main Street. The victim was able to get the license plate number of the vehicle and called 911.
At about 11 p.m. the night of the alleged crime, Orr and Hill were stopped traveling northbound on Colorado Highway 9 by Frisco police officers. Law enforcement officers located multiple weapons inside Orr and Hill's vehicle including numerous firearms, a sword and a baseball bat, according to court records.
Bond for both men was set at $10,000. Hill posted bond on Dec. 27; Orr remains in custody, according to court records.
Hill is scheduled to appear at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 18 for a preliminary hearing in district court. He is represented by the public defender's office.
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