Footprints in the snow led authorities to a suspected car thief in October, and the same defendant reportedly broke down on the highway after stealing a second vehicle in December.
Shadrach Mykytiuk, 39, of Mancos pleaded guilty Tuesday, Jan. 7, before District Court Judge Todd Plewe in a plea deal.
Court records reveal Mykytiuk stole a 2001 Dodge pickup from the P&D Grocery on Oct. 30, 2013. He reportedly stole the truck so he could drive to Cortez to kill a subject that broke the rear window of the defendant's 2008 Subaru Impreza earlier the same day.
Mancos Deputy Sean Kiely reportedly followed footprints in the snow in October to an apartment complex on the 200 block of East Menefee Street, where a witness identified the defendant.
In a separate case, court records reveal Mykytiuk was again charged with motor vehicle theft on Dec. 1, 2013. He reportedly stole a 1998 Dodge Ram pickup from his father's business, Gary's Automotive. After hotwiring the vehicle, the defendant reportedly drove the vehicle until it broke down on U.S. 160, at which time he called to turn himself into authorities.
Under the plea agreement, charges of escape, resisting arrest, unlawful use of a controlled substance and aggravated motor vehicle theft were dismissed. Mykytiuk pleaded guilty Tuesday to obstructing a peace office and aggravated motor vehicle theft.
District Attorney Will Furse and public defender Amy Smith stipulated that the defendant wouldn't face jail time under the plea agreement. Plewe, however, rejected the mandate.
"I'm not willing to accept an agreement that no jail time can be imposed," said Plewe. "That's up to the court's discretion."
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for 11 a.m. on Feb. 20. Plewe told Mykytiuk that the penalty could be 12 to 18 months of prison followed by a year of parole.
Mykytiuk is in custody under $9,000 in bonds.
Court records reveal that Mykytiuk slipped his handcuffs from behind his back to the front at least twice after he was apprehended in October. As deputy Kiely approached the Montezuma County jail near the intersection of Empire and Mildred streets, Mykytiuk reportedly managed to escape the patrol car.
Records state a foot chase resulted through the park before the defendant was tased and subsequently apprehended again.
Both vehicles were recovered and returned to the owners.