Peace flag theft case heads to trial
A former soldier accused of stealing a flag off another person’s land in Glade Park pleaded not guilty Wednesday and is scheduled to go to trial in September.
The flag in question is a world peace flag, said its owner, Anne Landman.
Troy Milam, who admits he took Landman’s flag, is charged with theft. He said the flag is anti-American and displays gay-pride colors.
Milam said he was willing to enter a plea of no contest in exchange for a reduced sentence.
The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office refused to accept anything less than a guilty plea.
The contentiousness between the prosecution and the defense was evident in the moments prior to Mesa County Court Judge Bruce Raaum entering the courtroom. Milam’s attorney,
Gregory Mueller, leaned toward Deputy District Attorney Carmen Rickard to ask how she intended to proceed. He quickly was informed the deal for a reduced sentence of home detention with an ankle monitor would be accepted only if Milam pleaded guilty.
“I’m glad it is so important to you guys,” Mueller said.
“A great waste of taxpayers’ money,” said Milam, who also said he is disabled.
After the trial date was set, Milam spoke briefly about the flag.
“She is flying this stuff during war time and has made several people in Glade Park mad,” Milam said.
Landman was asked why it was so important for her to see the case through and prosecute Milam.
“He stole my property,” Landman said. “He broke the law, and we feel it is a hate crime.”
Attorneys will have a pretrial readiness conference Aug. 28. The trial date was set for Sept. 3.