Asbury pleads guilty in Grand Lake burglary ring case
The long simmering legal saga surrounding a Grand Lake burglary ring came a little bit closer to full completion in recent weeks with the guilty plea and sentencing of defendant Paul Asbury.
On May 14, 47-year-old Grand Lake man Paul Asbury pleaded guilty to 12 misdemeanor counts of theft between $750 and $2,000. His guilty plea came as part of a plea agreement worked out between his legal counsel and representatives from the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Grand County Court Judge Nicholas Catanzarite sentenced Asbury to three years of unsupervised probation and 120 hours of useful public service. As part of his sentencing Asbury will be required to undergo a mental health and substance abuse evaluation and will also be required to pay fines and costs on each of the 12 counts to which he pleaded guilty. Additionally, prosecutors have 91 days from the date of his sentencing to determine what if any restitution amount Asbury will be required to repay.
Asbury was initially charged with possession of burglary tools and felony theft. On Jan. 31 of this year, he entered a plea of not guilty. His case was previously set to go to a jury trial on July 22, however, his guilty plea on May 14 vacated those proceedings.
Asbury was one of six individuals allegedly involved in a burglary ring that was active in the Grand Lake area in late 2017 and early 2018. Along with Asbury the criminal cases involving two of the six other defendants, Joushua Miles and Adam Pritt, have been resolved.
Miles’s case was resolved earlier this year when he pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft. He was sentenced to 18 months in community corrections Jan. 29. Pritt’s case was resolved on May 9 when he was sentenced to one year in community corrections. Pritt had previously pleaded guilty to theft on Feb. 28.
The court case involving burglary ring suspect Jorge Varela continues to move through the local court system. Varela was most recently in court on June 10. His case was continued to July 1, when he is scheduled to appear for a preliminary demand hearing.
Court cases involving burglary ring suspects Candice Hewitt and Colin Sabo have seen no further action in recent weeks. Local authorities spent several months looking for the two suspects after both failed to appear at court proceedings in Jan. Denver area authorities picked up both suspects on June 11. As of June 27 neither Hewitt nor Sabo had been transported to Grand County.
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