After pleading guilty to violating his probation, a Cortez man convicted of manslaughter in the 2011 death of his 6-month-old daughter was again denied bond.
At a revocation hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 18, Dylan Kuhn, 22, pleaded guilty to violating four probation conditions with a stipulation that he be sentenced to three years in a halfway house or complete drug court requirements.
Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker hesitantly accepted the tentative plea deal, telling Kuhn that he could withdraw his plea and proceed to a revocation hearing if the court ultimately rejects the agreement at sentencing on Sept. 10.
Charged in June with testing positive for meth and opiates, missing scheduled probation appointments, skipping planned drug and alcohol tests and failing to engage in ordered counseling, Kuhn faces a maximum of 12 years in prison if convicted of the probation violation allegations.
Public defender Kenneth Pace argued that Kuhn be released on a personal recognizance bond while awaiting sentencing, saying his client successfully complied with many other probation requirements, including parenting classes and treatment.
“Mr. Kuhn can succeed,” said Pace.
Reading a prepared written statement, Kuhn also requested that he be released, stating that the Montezuma County jail didn’t provide adequate medical or mental health services. While on probation, Kuhn said he was stabbed four times and became addicted to pain medication.
“I promise to follow the court’s orders,” Kuhn said.
District Attorney Will Furse opposed the bond request, stating that Kuhn failed to admit his culpability when addressing the court this week and shifted blame elsewhere.
“There’s been no compelling evidence to set a bond,” said Furse.
Walker agreed, saying that Kuhn failed to appear for an original revocation hearing in July, and he couldn’t be trusted to appear for sentencing next month if released.
Kuhn was initially charged with manslaughter and child abuse after slamming his infant daughter, Sailor Serenity Raine Kuhn, onto a bed on Nov. 1, 2011. Injuries from the incident resulted in the child’s death.
After pleading guilty to reckless manslaughter in 2012, Kuhn was sentenced to 90 days in jail and four years of probation. A media firestorm subsequently erupted as international pundits and bloggers criticized the court’s punishment.