DA extends plea offer to Breck council member
BRECKENRIDGE – The District Attorney’s Office has extended a plea offer to Jeri Beth “J.B.” Katz, the Breckenridge town council member accused of domestic violence and resisting arrest.
The plea offer would defer judgment and sentencing on the criminal mischief and domestic violence charge for two years, but Katz would in turn have to enter a plea to the resisting arrest charge.
If she accepts the terms, she would have to take 36 weeks of domestic violence classes and stay out of trouble for two years. The judge would, in turn, drop the charges. She also would have to enter a plea – either guilty or not guilty – to the resisting arrest charge.
However, if she decides not to accept the offer, Katz will face a jury trial on both charges.
If she is convicted on the two class 2 misdemeanors, Katz could serve up to a year in county jail on each charge, said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.
“I don’t know anything about it, and I’m certainly not going to talk to you about it,” said Katz when asked for comment.
Her attorney, Terry O’Connor of Heckman and O’Connor of Edwards, was in court and unable to return phone calls Friday.
The charges stem from an April 10 incident at Katz’s former boyfriend’s house. According to Summit County Sheriff’s Office reports, the two got into an argument when he returned home from work that afternoon, and when he tried to leave, she blocked his path to the car and struck a rear window with a rock.
Sheriff’s Office reports indicate that when Breckenridge police and sheriff’s officers arrived at the house to investigate later that day, she resisted arrest and allegedly bit one of the police officers on the shoulder as he was trying to put her in the police car.
Summit County Court Judge Ed Casias released her from jail that evening after she suffered a serious asthma attack, but police arrested her two days later for returning to her boyfriend’s house in violation of her restraining order.
The district attorney dropped harassment charges against Katz’s boyfriend, Andy Fisker, who left profane messages on her cell phone, because he used the language in reference to personal belongings he wanted her to return, and not against Katz herself.
Casias later recused himself from the case, citing a potential conflict of interest because he and Katz, an attorney, had worked together in the courtroom. Instead, the case was referred to Eagle County Court Judge Fred Gannett.
Hurlbert’s office is waiting to hear from O’Connor regarding the next court date. At that point, Katz will either accept the plea offer or Gannett will schedule a trial date.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at
(970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or
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