Ex-Mesa County official gets probation in stalking case
A former longtime, senior-level Mesa County official told a judge this morning he “made a mistake” when he stalked the wife of another county employee, placed a Global-Positioning System on her vehicle while harassing her and her and husband over five months.
“I’ve tried to own up to that from the first time I was asked to speak with police officers,” 53-year-old Robert Edmiston told a judge. “I’m ready to get on with my life and not be in court under these circumstances.”
District Judge Thomas Deister questioned Edmiston’s “mistake” assessment, but nonetheless accepted a plea agreement and sentenced Edmiston to 18 months probation following guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges of harassment and second-degree criminal tampering. The judge ordered Edmiston to complete 80 hours of community service, in addition to a domestic violence evaluation, while ordering Edmiston to follow through with the evaluation’s treatment recommendations.
Under a plea agreement accepted today, Deister could not impose any incarceration prior to the start of Edmiston’s probation sentence.
A Mesa County employee since 1987, and director of operations at the Mesa County landfill, Edmiston was fired in May shortly before he was formally charged with felony counts of stalking, embezzlement of public property, and misdemeanor counts of first-degree official misconduct, tampering and harassment.
Deister pointed to Edmiston’s lack of criminal history and work in the community — noting Edmiston’s role in 2004 efforts at the landfill which led to the recovery of the body of murder victim Jennifer Blagg — in accepting the deal with the District Attorney’s Office.
“I fully expect never to see you again, except for jury duty, which you’re always welcome to do,” Deister told Edmiston in parting.
Edmiston was arrested May 19 after Mesa County Sheriff’s investigators pursued a warrant. When confronted with allegations, Edmiston bristled and told them he didn’t believe they had a case, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
“Bring it on if you think you can win this in court. Go for it,” Edmiston told investigators, the affidavit said.
Ready more in Friday’s Daily Sentinel.