Parties consider plea deal for Dillon man facing 9 charges following two break-ins, police standoff in May

Charges include domestic violence, stalking, criminal mischief, harassment, felony theft

Christopher Staples, 38, of Dillon, faces nine charges related to two break-ins on May 9 and 10.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: The headline has been updated to better reflect that no formal plea deal has been filed in court.

A Dillon resident involved in a May standoff with police faces nine charges including domestic violence, stalking and second-degree burglary after reportedly breaking into the home of the victim. 

Christopher Staples, 39, was charged by the 5th Judicial District’s Attorney’s Office with stalking, misdemeanor cybercrime, criminal mischief, two counts of felony burglary, two counts of misdemeanor trespass and two counts of misdemeanor tampering after Staples broke into the victim’s home twice in two days, according to the warrantless probable cause affidavit and court charging records.

Staples barricaded himself in the victim’s Dillon Valley home May 10 for 6.5 hours, according to a release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. Police locked down the area, including the nearby Dillon Valley Elementary school. After school had been let out and evacuated, around 5:10 p.m., law enforcement forced open the front door, and deputies entered the unit and deployed a robot to locate Staples, the probable cause statement reported. Deputies assumed Staples was armed, but he was ultimately taken in without incident, according to a press release. No weapon was found on Staples or the scene, Sheriff’s Office staff announced.

The victim had spotted Staples entering the premise through the residence’s security cameras just before noon that morning and alerted police. The victim was working outside of Summit County that day, according to the warrantless arrest probable cause statement.

Staples unplugged the residence’s Wi-Fi May 10, about a half-hour after law enforcement responded, according to the statement, removing law enforcement’s and the victim’s ability to view the residence through its security cameras.

Only the day prior, the victim’s residence had been broken into, court records state. The lock on the victim’s front door had been jimmied open, a window latch had been removed and a window screen had been removed and thrown in the dumpster behind the victim’s residence, deputies say. It also said the victim installed cameras both outside and inside the residence, and three safety bars “on their windows” after the event.

Deputies with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office attempted to contact Staples after the May 9 event, but the statement said they were unable to contact him.

Prior to the break-ins on May 9 and 10, Staples had been in a relationship with the victim, the probable cause statement said. The victim said Staples had stolen the victim’s mail and locked the victim out of their shared storage unit containing some of the victim’s possessions valued at $3,270, according to the statement. Staples later threw out the victim’s belongings in the storage unit, claiming he did not trust the victim with “his stuff,” the probable cause statement said.

Following a joint counseling appointment, the probable cause statement said Staples had followed the victim to a drinks establishment, leaned over the victim and said he wasn’t going to let the victim leave, according to the victim’s account reported in the probable cause statement. The victim applied for a civil protection order shortly thereafter, and it was granted, the statement said. Additionally, it said on one occasion the victim claimed Staples had watched the victim’s home from a Summit Stage bus stop.

After the May 10 incident, the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that Staples was originally arrested on charges of domestic violence, stalking, second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, harassment, felony theft, computer crime, obstructing a peace officer, and second degree criminal tampering. Staples was also arrested on charges related to the May 9 incident, the Sheriff’s Office stated. No references to domestic violence appear in the 5th Judicial District’s list of final charges.

Court documents show Staples was released on $15,000 bond. He posted bond on May 13, according to the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Staples relinquished his firearms and ammunition to the Sheriff’s Office by May 16, according to court documents.

At a hearing on June 22, court documents said the parties had not had a chance to discuss a plea deal. At Staples’ July 20 disposition hearing, the defense said attorneys with the 5th Judicial District had extended a tentative offer, but the defense would continue with some mitigation and investigation before returning to the discussion.

Staples next court appearance is slated for a disposition hearing at 3 p.m. on Aug. 31.

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