Summit County assault suspect declines district attorney’s plea deal
Ryan Summerlin May 8, 2014
An Idaho Springs man this week declined a plea bargain offer from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, electing instead to take all 10 of his cases to trial in Summit County District Court.
Raymond Wolfe, 37, faces numerous felony and misdemeanor charges. Although the majority of his cases materialized as a result of his alleged actions following his September 2013 incarceration in Summit County jail, Wolfe’s most serious case stems from an incident in August 2013 at the Snowshoe Motel in Frisco, in which he allegedly assaulted his 49-year-old girlfriend, according to court records.
Wolfe is charged in that case with one count of first-degree assault, a Class 3 felony; one count of violation of bail bond conditions, a Class 6 felony; and one count of violating a protection order, a misdemeanor. Wolfe also faces two crime-of-violence sentencing enhancers.
During a disposition hearing Monday, April 21, in district court, deputy district attorney John Franks said the victim in the alleged assault case had to go into surgery immediately following the incident. The woman reportedly had to have her spleen removed as a result of the alleged attack, Franks said.
Wolfe’s attorney, Sean McAllister of Denver, told District Chief Judge Mark Thompson that discussions about a deal had been ongoing with the district attorney’s office for several weeks, but to date the two parties were not seeing “eye to eye.”
The current offer on the table, Franks said, is a minimum 10 years and up to 16 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. McAllister’s counteroffer is three to five years in DOC.
Although McAllister believes a resolution is still out there, he and Wolfe declined the district attorney’s offer, saying they were prepared to enter not-guilty pleas in all of the cases.
Thompson urged Wolfe to reconsider his options and asked him to discuss the deal again with Franks. Before taking a recess from the hearing, Thompson wanted to make sure Wolfe understood his potential prison sentence if convicted at trial and that he would not receive as good a deal from the district attorney in the future.
“You’re looking at a Class 3 felony with crime-of-violence enhancers,” Thompson said. “That’s 10 to 32 years in prison, which could be sentenced consecutively, not concurrently.
“Looking at the other charges in that case and doing some quick math, you’re looking at a 46-year sentence if convicted. That’s the rest of your life in prison. Do you understand that?”
McAllister said his client did understand the potential consequences, but that the prison sentence in the current offer from the district attorney’s office was too long.
“My client understands what he is facing and we’re ready to go,” McAllister said. “We understand that if we enter not-guilty pleas today, we’re not going to get a better offer from the district attorney.”
Although Thompson was willing to accept not-guilty pleas, Wolfe’s decision to take all of his cases to trial presented another challenge. To maintain Wolfe’s right to speedy trials, all 10 cases would have to be tried by Oct. 21 and Thompson said he already has a full docket.
“These matters have already been delayed long enough,” Thompson said citing continuances that were filed when Wolfe requested a new attorney. “We’re going to set the first case for Aug. 25, take a break for a week, and then we’re going to run case by case all the way until Oct. 21 if we have to.”
However, Thompson only accepted pleas on two of Wolfe’s 10 cases, including the first-degree assault case and his most recent case, which was filed because of alleged infractions at Summit County jail.
The latter of the two was set for a three-day trial beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26. Deadline to file motions in that case was set for Wednesday, May 21.
Thompson also scheduled a motions hearing for 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 18, in the assault case. All other cases were continued until that date.
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