Arrested Snowball concertgoers appear in court | VailDaily.com
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Arrested Snowball concertgoers appear in court

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EAGLE, Colorado – Dozens of SnowBall attendees accused of committing crimes during the festival made their first court appearance Tuesday. A standing-room-only crowd packed Judge Katharine Sullivan’s Eagle County Court.

Over the three-day SnowBall festival, 140 people were arrested, Avon police said. Of those, 101 were arrested and cited for minors in possession of alcohol or for trying to get alcohol for minors.

But most of Tuesday’s crowd were facing felony charges.

“How many of you are here for SnowBall cases?” Sullivan asked the huge crowd.

Dozens of hands went up.

They had to wait while Sullivan dispatched the rest of the cases. Then Sullivan started calling SnowBall names, one by one, and they walked up the courtroom aisle and took a seat in the jury box, except there are 14 chairs in the jury box and way more defendants than that. So they also occupied the first row in the gallery.

Tuesday saw 42 SnowBall concertgoers in Sullivan’s court. Of those, 25 didn’t have an attorney and were told all at the same time what their rights are.

None of Monday’s or Tuesday’s defendants were from Eagle County.

The three-day SnowBall Music Festival took place Friday through Sunday at Avon’s Nottingham Park.

A college student from Milwaukee was granted permission to leave the state. Another college student from Chicago will back in Sullivan’s courtroom April 10.

A young Hispanic man attends college in Durango. He told the judge he’d be kicked out of school, tears welling up in his eyes as he strode quickly from the courtroom.

At the other end of the spectrum was Caleb Cooper, from Boulder. He has dreadlocks down to his waist. He also has a medical marijuana card that he said would exclude him from some of his charges. He began to talk about illegal search and seizure before Sullivan told him he needed to take it up with the district attorney.

Zach Goldman is charged with distribution of illegal drugs, a Class 3 felony. If he’s convicted, he goes to prison. He posted his bond and had to put up collateral equal to $50,000. He’s applying for a public defender.

One young man, dressed in a suit, sweater vest and tie over a crisp white shirt, said he was unfamiliar with the judicial system.

“I’m not from here. Is there any information about where to get a lawyer?” he asked Sullivan.

Sullivan broke into a huge grin.

“You have done a wonderful job advertising yourself and my feeling is that many will introduce themselves to you very soon,” Sullivan said.

One did, and was hired on the spot.

The District Attorney’s Office will charge SnowBallers by March 26. They will return to court April 3.

Most requested permission to leave the state, to go home, back to college or back to work.

“It’s funny how many of you are flocking home. I think I would be avoiding it,” Sullivan said smiling. “Still, it’s good for you to face the music.”

And they have to return for their next court date, Sullivan repeatedly cautioned.

Everyone who was supposed to show up on Tuesday, did.

Some were arrested for distribution. That’s a felony, and if they’re convicted they’re required to spend up to 16 months in state prison.

“The burden is on the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Sullivan told them.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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