Teen gets 3 years in stolen marijuana case
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A teenager who pleaded guilty to being part of a violent crime spree led by a man trying to recover stolen medical marijuana received a three-year prison sentence Thursday.
Arion Gross, 18, of New Castle previously pleaded guilty to felony attempted assault and misdemeanor menacing in connection with two incidents, including an Oct. 4 case in which a woman was beaten for four hours in New Castle before being driven to Rifle and released in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Gross was sentenced to a concurrent six-month jail term for a second incident in which he, Aaron Rabidue and a third man, Joshua Martin Davis, threatened another woman with a gun. Davis pleaded guilty to felony menacing Thursday and is awaiting sentencing.
Investigators say the incidents were related to Rabidue’s attempts to find out who had taken marijuana he was legally licensed to grow. They say he also threatened to kill others during his quest.
Rabidue pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
The beating victim was bound in Rabidue’s New Castle apartment, beaten with closed fists in a bathtub and then put in a plastic bin and threatened with a knife, she told police. She suffered extensive bruising, deep cuts to her face and four missing teeth. She required reconstructive surgery.
The victim did not testify during the sentencing of Gross but recommended that he be sentenced to something approaching the high end — five years — of the sentencing range stipulated in his plea bargain.
Family and friends Thursday described Gross as a polite, caring, law-abiding teenager. His mother, Angela Gross, told Senior Judge Kenneth Plotz that her son “was at the wrong place at the wrong time and was threatened by Aaron Rabidue and could not leave” at the time the beating occurred.
Gross told Plotz, “The mistakes I made were hanging out with bad people, continuing to hang out with them even though they made bad decisions.”
Plotz took issue with those who suggested Gross was being treated unfairly by the justice system. He told Gross the woman who was beaten was the real victim.
“She is the one that suffered. She is the one that saw what you did, what you didn’t do,” Plotz said.