Mesa County felonies 
rise after 6-year slide

The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office in 2012 saw its first year-over-year rise in felony cases in six years.

Through Dec. 29, some 1,480 felony case files were opened at the Mesa County Justice Center, up slightly from 2011, which recorded 1,466 felonies, according to figures from the 21st Judicial District Administrator’s Office. In 2010, Mesa County had 1,656 felony cases.

Since 2005, which saw a record high of 2,223 felony cases, felony filings have declined for six consecutive years in the 21st Judicial District.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said the 2012 uptick in felony prosecutions wasn’t alarming to him.

The DA also said he couldn’t point to a particular reason for the increase.

“You can only reduce things so far,” Hautzinger said. “I think we’ve done very well in the last six years.”

Officials have credited aggressive enforcement against methamphetamine-distribution organizations, coupled with meth treatment, for the steady decline in cases since 2005.

Year-end crime totals from the Grand Junction Police Department, among other agencies, weren’t immediately available.

In 2011, Grand Junction police recorded an increase in reported violent crime, 211 reports compared with 164 in 2010, according to the department’s annual report.

The city recorded 190 reports in 2009, 201 in 2008, and 173 in 2007.


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