Victim disapproves of burglar’s plea deal
Defendants in a Valentine’s Day home invasion were caught on camera “laughing and having a good time,” according to the victim.
Gary Soza, 39, of Cortez pleaded guilty to felony first-degree criminal trespass of a dwelling in connection to the burglary on Tuesday, Aug. 19. The tentative plea deal would require Soza to serve 24 months of probation, pay fines and restitution and submit to drug and alcohol treatment, if recommended by probation officials.
“There should be more punishment,” the victim told Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker.
The presumptive penalty for the conviction is up to three years in prison, a $100,000 fine and two years of parole. Subject to Walker’s approval at sentencing on Oct. 21, the plea deal includes a deferred judgment and sentence, meaning the conviction could be overturned if the suspect abides by all probation terms.
The charges stem from a County Road 33 home invasion on Feb. 14. Soza and a co-defendant allegedly smashed through a window of the residence, and stole eight antique Kachina dolls valued at $4,000, an air compressor, greenhouse, turkey cooker, necklace and Blu-ray player.
The victim said the dolls had been returned.
Charges remain pending against Jessica Olson, 26, of Cortez.
Drug suspect counting on dismissal of charges
A 33-year-old drug suspect is hoping his charges will be dismissed.
Cedric Quintana, 33, was arrested by the Cortez Police Department and charged with possession of methamphetamines and paraphernalia on May 29. Public defender Kenneth Pace said his client was forced to make involuntary statements or face additional charges.
“We believe the case will be dismissed,” Pace said.
Walker granted a defense request for a suppression hearing on Sept. 25. A two-day jury trial is set to start Nov. 3.
Court records reveal Quintana, who remains in custody, was allegedly in possession of about 5 grams of meth when arrested on outstanding warrants from La Plata County.
In a separate drug case, a suspect has pleaded guilty, and charges remain pending against another in a drug sting.
Joseph Williamson, 27, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to possession after allegedly selling meth to an informant last fall.
His tentative plea deal includes a 24-month deferred judgment and sentence and drug and alcohol treatment. Sentencing was set for Oct. 9.
Williamson allegedly sent Kaiyommia Schamp, 18, to deliver 3.5 grams of meth for $240 to the informant in the Wal-mart parking lot last October and sold 3.5 grams for $250 to the informant near Manuagh Elementary.
Charges remain pending against Schamp in connection to the case. She rejected a plea deal in county court on Wednesday.