Plea date set in case against Judge Mark Thompson |

Plea date set in case against Judge Mark Thompson

5th Judicial District judge faces 1 count of felony menacing for threatening someone with a rifle

Kelli Duncan
Vail Daily
Judge Mark Thompson wears a mask in the courtroom during a hearing at the Summit County Justice Center in Breckenridge on April 28.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

A plea date has been set in the felony menacing case brought against Judge Mark Thompson of the 5th Judicial District. The charge led to him being placed on paid leave at the end of October.

On Oct. 16, the District Attorney’s Office charged Thompson with a single count of felony menacing stemming from an incident in July in which Thompson allegedly threatened a person with a rifle.

A criminal complaint filed in the case claims that on July 25, Thompson placed an unnamed person in “fear of imminent serious bodily injury by use of a deadly weapon … namely: an AR-15 style rifle.”

The public was notified of the charge in an October press release from the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Thompson came before Judge Sean P. Finn of the 17th Judicial District on Tuesday, Dec. 21, for an advisement hearing. He was represented by Denver-based criminal defense attorney Abraham Hutt, who asked Finn for more time on the case.

Hutt told Finn that he is close to reaching a plea deal with Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Hassing, a special prosecutor from the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office assigned to the case.

“We’re also hoping to do that relatively quickly,” Hutt said about the plea deal.

Finn asked the parties if they consented to continue appearing remotely and scheduled a disposition hearing in Thompson’s case for 11 a.m. Jan. 14.

At that point, Thompson will likely enter a decision as to whether he will accept the plea bargain offered by Hassing or take the case to trial. His plea will be entered unless another continuance is requested.

The Jan. 14 hearing could reveal more specifics about what occurred in Thompson’s case. A criminal complaint released Oct. 20 provided no further information about where the July incident took place or the series of events leading up to the alleged crime.

Thompson’s appearance in court Tuesday was facilitated by way of a criminal court summons, not an arrest warrant, meaning the two parties have not been asked to provide much information about the incident.

“If there is a disposition, please do keep in mind that because this is a summons case, I have relatively little information about the facts of the case,” Finn said Tuesday. “I would probably expect both parties to provide some sort of a factual basis with the plea.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.