Parole violation

Kristen L. Sheeks violated his parole — for a second time this year — based on police reports of his latest alleged escapade.

The greater parole violation was committed by the Colorado Parole Board, which found a way to release Sheeks from prison, not once, but twice this year.

Sheeks was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of aggravated robbery and misdemeanor theft. The arrest came after Sheeks allegedly robbed a North Avenue store, taking cash and cigarettes. Police said he held his hand in his pocket and told the cashier he had a gun. When he was arrested, police found a plastic BB gun on him.

Sheeks has been arrested four times in Colorado since 2004, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The arrests involved charges that included burglary, criminal mischief and motor vehicle theft. He began serving a four-year prison sentence in June, 2005, and was paroled in January of this year, six months before his sentence was completed.

That’s not an egregious abuse of the parole system. Most people wouldn’t object to someone getting out six months early if his behavior in prison was satisfactory.

It is Sheeks’ second parole, late last month, that provokes anger and incredulity.

Sheeks was arrested in April, just four months after being paroled the first time. The charge, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections, was absconding from parole supervision.

Sheeks was trundled off to the Department of Corrections once again, and five months later, the Parole Board decided he had been rehabilitated enough to deserve another early release. Few people can be surprised that it required less than a month before Sheeks was in trouble with the law once more.

Sheeks may not be the most cerebral of criminals. He is accused of committing a serious felony for a carton of cigarettes and some cash. But he has already demonstrated he has little respect for the rules of his parole. And brandishing a gun — even a BB gun, as Sheeks is alleged to have done last Sunday — shows a disturbing disregard for the alleged victim.

If Sheeks is arrested and returned to prison, we hope the Parole Board isn’t so eager to give him another “Get out of Jail” pass.


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