Antonio Kolessar, the man suspected of aiding an escape in April at a juvenile detention center in Durango, pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Kolessar, 21, is charged with five counts of aiding escape, a Class 3 felony, and one count of vehicular eluding. If convicted, he faces four to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 followed by a mandatory parole period of five years.
A two-day jury trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 17.
According to an arrest affidavit, Kolessar cut a hole in the chain-link fence surrounding the Robert E. DeNier Youth Services Center on April 27. Five men escaped through the hole and into a gray Hyundai Sonata driven by Kolessar.
The vehicle was spotted in Pagosa Springs later that day. After a brief police chase, the group was arrested outside of South Fork, 44 miles east of Pagosa Springs.
Kolessar’s next court appearance is a motions hearing scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 16.