Briefs: Court Roundup January 09, 2009

Woman admits stealing more than $20K

•  A former employee of a local engineering firm who is accused of embezzling more than $500,000 from the company over a seven-year period pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of theft of more than $20,000.
Amber Kristine Butler, 35, who formerly worked at Lindauer & Dunn Inc., 802 Rood Ave., was arrested on a warrant Sept. 10 on felony charges of theft, identity theft and forgery. Butler, who lives at 477 Harris Road, is free on a $10,000 bond.
During a six-month investigation by police, company owners Jeffrey Dunn and Lee Lindauer determined Butler had embezzled $568,277.06, which was spent on items such as baby clothes, video games, food and other household items, during her employment from 2001 to 2008, according to her arrest affidavit.
Butler will face an open sentencing March 20 by Mesa County District Judge Valerie Robison.
Butler’s sentence could include probation, community corrections, jail time or prison.

•  Sheriff deputies arrested a suspect in the Dec. 6 stabbing in the Cactus Canyon parking lot, in part because the man left his cell phone at the scene of the crime and then called it.
Robert Paul Landrum, 33, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree criminal attempt to commit murder, misdemeanor and felony assault charges, tampering with evidence, tampering with a witness and false reporting.
According to Landrum’s arrest affidavit, two victims reported being approached by Landrum and his friend outside the Clifton bar. A fight ensued, there was a struggle over a “small hunting knife,” and one of the victims was stabbed twice in the leg by Landrum.
Deputies found both victims covered in blood, and they were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital.
Cactus Canyon had a record of Landrum and his friend being at the bar the night of the crime because the bar scans IDs at the door.

•  A 66-year-old Grand Junction man dubbed “Grandpa,” who was already in jail on suspicion of running a methamphetamine ring, received an additional $500,000 bond Thursday on new charges of attempting to hire a hitman to kill two witnesses.
Robert Hakel is facing two additional felony charges of criminal solicitation to commit murder. According to an arrest affidavit, Hakel asked an undercover officer to kill his nephew, Joe Jarvis, and Blaine Ellifritz. Both are listed as witnesses in two of his felony cases.

•  Police are seeking the public’s help for information in locating two people they believe stabbed a 21-year-old man sometime Wednesday on Chert Drive. The victim told police he may know the people who attacked him. Police are not releasing the victim’s name.

•  Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the man who robbed the Great American Credit Union, 1156 Hill Ave., on Dec. 31. The man is white, aged 35 to 45, up to 6 feet tall and 220 pounds with a short bleached-blond crew-cut hairstyle. The man used plastic, City Market, grocery sacks to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash.
As with other tips, people are encouraged to call, text or e-mail tips to Crime Stoppers’ anonymous lines. They can be reached at; by texting to CRIMES using TIP729 as the message, or by calling 241-STOP.

•   A 14-year-old student at Montrose High School was arrested Wednesday in connection with a bomb threat made against the school that day.
Montrose Police Department Cmdr. Gene Lillard said the boy faces a felony charge of false reporting of explosives and misdemeanor charges of second-degree criminal tampering and interference with an education institution.
Students at Montrose High School were sent home early Wednesday after a note in a boys bathroom said a bomb would detonate at 3 p.m. at the school. Officers searched the building and did not find any explosives, and classes resumed as normal Thursday.
Lillard said he could not release how the investigation led to the boy’s arrest because it is ongoing, but the boy was released to his parents, he said.


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