EAGLE — Forest Mangus is accused of stealing a car and robbing a motel at gunpoint, and he could spend 20 years in prison reconsidering his life choices.
Prosecutors offered Mangus 20 years for three felony charges for his part in the alleged carjacking and armed robbery.
In court this week, Mangus’ public defender argued for a lighter plea deal, but prosecutor Rebecca Wiard is digging in her heels at 20 years.
Mangus, 31, will be back in court in August. In the meantime, he will remain in the Garfield County jail, where he was already serving a stretch on unrelated theft charges in Garfield County when evidence led police investigators to him for his alleged crime spree through western Eagle County.
Prosecutor Scott Turner, with the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office, said Mangus will also be sentenced for Garfield County crimes, but they’ll wait for Eagle County to finish with him.
Downvalley crime spree
Police say that on the evening of Feb. 10, a masked assailant robbed Eagle’s Comfort Inn at gunpoint. The gunman fled the hotel and jumped into a getaway car parked at Eagle’s City Market, just several dozen yards west of the hotel.
The getaway car was described as a maroon and silver Subaru hatchback.
About a half hour later, a woman was robbed at gunpoint while she was washing her car in the Big Dog car wash in Gypsum. Police say it was the same man who robbed the motel.
The man put a gun to her temple and demanded her keys and all of her money.
He drove her car, a white 2011 Subaru Outback, west out of Gypsum.
Twelve days later, on Saturday, Feb. 22, the Rifle Police Department located the stolen 2011 white Subaru Outback station wagon. A resident notified the Rifle Police Department that an unfamiliar vehicle had been left unattended for several days in a residential area of town.
A joint investigation involving the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Rifle Police Department, Eagle Police Department and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office led to Mangus, who was already in the Garfield County jail.
Mangus is being held without bail on three Eagle County felony charges: aggravated robbery, a class 3 felony; felony menacing, a class 5 felony; and aggravated motor vehicle theft by a previous offender, a class 3 felony.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com.