Briefs: Court Roundup November 19, 2008

No-knock raid nets 3 arrests

• Three people were arrested at a downtown Grand Junction home Monday night during a SWAT team drug raid, according to the Western Colorado Drug Task Force.
Roy Lee McFarland Powell, 46, Mary Elizabeth Southard, 37, and Amanda Haynes, 30, were arrested on suspicion of possession of more than a gram of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and child abuse, police said.
A 13-year-old child was in the home at 915 Belford Ave. when a no-knock search warrant was executed just before 9 p.m., police said.
During the search, officers found drug paraphernalia, a pipe and one-eighth of an ounce of a suspected methamphetamine, according to an arrest affidavit.

Robbery sentence

• Charles Rutz, 37, may be looking at prison time for robbing a local bowling alley at gunpoint in August. Rutz, who appeared in court Monday, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery and check fraud.
Rutz accepted an open sentence, meaning Mesa County District Judge Richard Gurley can order him to prison, probation or community corrections. He will be sentenced Jan. 7.
Police were called to GJ Scores, 2445 F 3/8 Road, the night of Aug. 2 on a report that a man pointed a gun at a female cashier and demanded all the money in the cash register.
Witnesses said the man placed the money in a plastic sack and left in a white truck. Police were able to use the witness descriptions and anonymous reports to the Crime Stoppers hotline to quickly identify Rutz as the suspect. Officers also dusted for fingerprints and reviewed a surveillance tape to make the connection.
Rutz’ charge of aggravated robbery includes a sentence enhancer.

Kidnapping case

• Prosecutors say they will press more charges against a Grand Junction man already facing 11 felony charges in the attempted kidnapping of a 9-year-old girl. The man has been accused of placing her in the trunk of his car and driving to a secluded area.
Prosecutors on Monday delayed charging Michael Byerrum, 40, with additional counts but plan to add charges during a Dec. 11 hearing.
The girl escaped her kidnapper after she bit him on his nose and fled during the May 31 incident. Byerrum had been scheduled to be sentenced to six years in prison on unrelated charges the day before the incident.

Sex assault trial

• Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of a Grand Junction man accused of sexually assaulting a child. Michael Ray Little, 42, was arrested in March after a girl told police Little had assaulted her at least 30 times since she was 7. During an interview with police, Little told investigators he had sex with the girl four or five times, according to his arrest affidavit.


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