Parachute man pleads guilty to robbery of 70-year-old he accosted in her shower |

Parachute man pleads guilty to robbery of 70-year-old he accosted in her shower

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A Parachute man has pleaded guilty in connection with a home invasion in Basalt, during which a 70-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint.

After months of negotiation with prosecutors, Michael Hawkins, 25, admitted to orchestrating the break-in and pleaded to aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, both felonies.

Authorities say Hawkins and another suspect entered the elderly victim’s home in Basalt just before noon Nov. 28 as she was getting out of the shower and held her at gunpoint while they searched the residence for valuables. They allegedly ended up stealing cash and a number of the victim’s belongings, totaling approximately $50,000 in value. Most of the property was not recovered, prosecutors said.

Two suspected accomplices in the crime have been charged in the case. One has entered a not guilty plea.

Hawkins held out for several months before accepting the plea agreement, and the case nearly went to trial. But prosecutors say they continued to build on their case and were able to reach a deal.

“Because the charges were very serious I think it’s not that unusual that it takes the pitter patter of jurors feet to get a resolution,” deputy district attorney John Franks said. “We had been working this case pretty hard and our case got better as things went along.”

The victim, while reportedly very frightened by the incident, was not injured. Hawkins faces a stipulated sentence of between 10 and 32 years in prison for the aggravated robbery charge with an enhancement of a crime of violence. The conspiracy charge carries a penalty of up to 12 years in prison. As part of the plea agreement, the two sentences will have to run concurrently, according to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office.

The victim is reportedly satisfied with the deal.

Hawkins will likely be subpoenaed to testify if either of his accused co-conspirators stand trial, prosecutors said.

Hawkins, who is slated to appear in court again Sept. 25 for sentencing, is expected to remain in custody in Eagle County on a $25,000 bond until the next hearing.

— Caddie Nath

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