Man gets 18 years for crimes tied to missing medical pot

Aaron Rabidue

A New Castle man who severely beat a woman and threatened other people in an effort to recover stolen medical marijuana has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Aaron Rabidue, 22, faced a possible 10- to 20-year sentence under a plea bargain in the case.

Deputy 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Barrett called Rabidue a “dangerous individual.”

“We at the District Attorney’s Office are pleased that this defendant is going to be out of the community for an extended period of time,” Barrett said in an interview.

Rabidue and Arion Gross of New Castle terrorized a 33-year-old woman for several hours last year, tying her up, putting her in a bathtub at Rabidue’s apartment and beating her. She then was driven to the Wal-Mart in Rifle and released. She walked across the street to Grand River Hospital and Medical Center and was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for reconstructive surgery.

Rabidue also was accused of joining Gross and a third man in threatening another woman with a gun. Police say he also threatened a man with a shovel.

Investigators say the actions all were driven by Rabidue’s efforts to find out who had taken his marijuana, for which he held a medical marijuana registry certificate.

Barrett said Rabidue apologized to the beating victim during his sentencing. She submitted a letter to be considered during the hearing.

“The general theme of her letter is this is something that she’s physically and emotionally going to have to live with for the rest of her life,” Barrett said.

Rabidue pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree assault causing permanent disfigurement, plus a felony charge of burglary and a misdemeanor menacing charge. He also pleaded guilty to a marijuana possession charge that Barrett said stemmed from allegations he illegally sold marijuana at a park in Carbondale.

Gross, 19, previously pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor charge and received a three-year prison sentence. He contended he was scared of Rabidue during the beating and did what Rabidue asked, while also trying to help the victim at times.


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