Burglar sentenced on drug charge
Originally charged in a burglary case, a Dolores woman was sentenced last week to two years of probation and 80 hours of community service after pleading guilty to felony drug possession.
Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker handed down the sentence on Monday, March 17. He also ordered Tara Montgomery, 31, of Dolores, to complete rehabilitative conditions of drug court, undergo a mental health evaluation, be subject to random drug and alcohol tests and pay court costs, fines and restitution.
“I still have the ability to send you to prison if things don’t go well in drug court,” Walker said. “This is your last best chance to succeed if you want to.”
Last month, Montgomery pleaded guilty to felony drug possession in connection to multiple commercial burglaries last fall.
Several burglary and theft charges are pending against two other suspects.
Court records reveal the three suspects allegedly stole more than $20,000 in computer equipment, firearms, Native American artifacts and hunting equipment.
Suspect in Family Dollar arson pleads guilty
Earlier this month, the court tentatively accepted a plea deal for a 20-year-old Cortez man charged with starting the Family Dollar fire last May.
Appearing before Walker on March 6, James Alexander admitting to causing the May 14, 2013, blaze at the retail store. In January, a plea deal was rejected after the defendant denied starting the fire.
Scheduled for sentencing on April 22, Alexander could have his jail term capped at 45 days, ordered to pay restitution and undergo a mental health evaluation as conditions of the plea agreement. Walker, however, could impose his own sentence.
Free on a $25,000 bond, Alexander was charged in September on a count of first-degree arson and two counts of fourth degree arson. The maximum sentence includes six years in prison and three years of parole and a maximum $500,000 fine.
Alexander reportedly worked as an assistant manager at the store for about a week before the blaze. Reports reveal at least two other fires occurred inside the store after Alexander’s hire.
Elderly sex offender seeks relief
A man convicted of sexually assaulting his granddaughter a decade ago was ordered this week to remain on probation for at least 12 more months.
David Dressel, 68, of Dolores asked Walker on Monday, March 17, to lift the terms of his lifetime probation. Dressel was convicted in 2004 of sexual assault on a child. Dressel requested the terms of probation be lifted because of his failing physical condition. He said he was no longer able to work, and probation costs were causing a financial hardship.
Officials recognized the defendant had made rehabilitative strides, but the sex offender management board suggested at least a year of probation.
Walker said he was bound to the sex offender management board’s recommendation, and instructed Dressel to seek relief from the court again in 12 months.