Silverthorne knife attacker with criminal past sentenced to 3 years in prison
April 24, 2017
They could have just left when they were asked to and not come back. Instead, prosecutors say, 23-year-old Dylan Haas and a group of his friends returned with a posse to the birthday party they were asked to leave near Silverthorne on the night of Nov. 14, 2015, kicked in the door and started a brawl with the occupants.
On Monday, April 24, Haas was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the fracas, during which he is said to have slashed the apartment's owner with a kitchen knife, causing a 6-inch laceration across his chest and three more cuts on his arms.
"He has no impulse control and he has no ability to conform to the rules imposed by the court," prosecutor Johnny Lombardi said, arguing for a six-year sentence. "My concern is that when he acts, he involves other people in his criminal conduct. … The influence this young man has is bad."
In Lombardi's telling, Haas has built up a lengthy rap sheet and has been charged with numerous criminal counts, including charges for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old in Illinois.
Haas was originally charged with 15 counts related to the knife incident, including attempted second-degree murder. A judge dropped that charge last January, and Haas eventually pleaded guilty to menacing, trespassing and weapons possession with a previous juvenile offense, all felonies.
His conduct since that initial arrest didn't do him any favors at his sentencing hearing. In arguing against probation, Lombardi noted that Haas was arrested for driving under the influence in March and robbery last December, both of which were violations of his bond.
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"Why, given his history, should we have any confidence that he would follow (probation terms)?" Lombardi asked. "He has fundamental issues so far beyond supervision, and he is an extraordinary threat to the local community."
According to an arrest affidavit, Haas entered a convenience store on the night of Dec. 30 with one of the same people who was involved in the Silverthorne brawl. Haas proceeded to converse with the clerk and distracted him while the friend stole five beers from a cooler in the back, the affidavit says.
"Mr. Haas is not beyond redemption, but he does have a history," public defender Reed Owens said, arguing for five years of probation without prison time. That was the recommendation of a pre-sentence report issued by the court, Owens said.
Haas asked District Court Judge Thompson for leniency, acknowledging his past transgressions but claiming that he had cleaned up his act.
"I made mistakes, yes, but I've improved, and I can do probation, sir," he said. "Prison is not where I need to be."
Judge Thompson, however, was not swayed, and Haas' extensive criminal history and repeated misconduct after his arrest ultimately outweighed his affability in the courtroom.
"Mr. Haas, you've always presented yourself as a polite and energetic person, and while it is tempting to accept your word and sentence you to probation, your past history does not speak to your ability to remain compliant with court orders," Judge Thompson said.
While the victim only suffered superficial cuts, Thompson said, the attack could have easily left him with more severe injuries or even killed him.
Haas was sentenced to three years in prison on each of the counts. Those will run concurrently, and Haas will face a mandatory two-year parole period, as well.
"The threat that this defendant poses to Summit County has abated for a time due to his being sentenced to prison," District Attorney Bruce Brown said in a news release. "While we disfavor sentencing a relatively young man to state prison, he has earned it."
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