Florida man charged with breaking into cars in Eagle County sentenced to probation | VailDaily.com

Florida man charged with breaking into cars in Eagle County sentenced to probation

Demetrius Hutchins becomes the first of three Florida men to be sentenced after breaking into cars and using credit cards to buy gift cards

A local judge sentenced a Florida man to five years of probation after the man pleaded guilty to breaking into cars in Eagle and Summit counties, stealing credit cards and using them to purchase gift cards along with two other men.

In a sentencing hearing Monday morning, an Eagle County judge weighed testimony from the family and friends of Demetrius Hutchins, 31, against his criminal history, ultimately sentencing him to probation instead of prison time.

The 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the county’s probation office recommended prison time for Hutchins, who had one felony and one misdemeanor conviction on his record prior to pleading guilty to the two local charges last month.

In March, as his case was being heard here in Eagle County, Hutchins picked up two new cases back in Florida for allegedly stealing a gun and resisting police, Deputy District Attorney Amy Padden said Monday.

This, she said, shows that Hutchins has not altered his behavior since engaging in what she said was a “pattern” of theft with him as the driver and “ringleader.” This suspected pattern led the District Attorney’s Office to charge Hutchins and the two other men with violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, which Hutchins’ attorney dismissed as illegitimate.

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The District Attorney’s Office had asked Eagle County Judge Reed Owens for a sentence of three to four years in the Colorado Department of Corrections in addition to the payment of restitution to the theft victims.

In reality, the crimes were “quite unorganized,” defense attorney Jim Fahrenholtz said in Monday’s appearance. Since then, Hutchins has “changed his lifestyle” and is now working hard and focusing on supporting his five children, Fahrenholtz said.

Hutchins’ mother, who attended the hearing, described him as a “wonderful son” who had made some “stupid mistakes,” but who now coaches football and gives back to his community.

In his own testimony to Judge Owens, Hutchins apologized to the theft victims and to the local criminal justice system for his actions.

“Most people who go to prison just repeat a cycle,” Hutchins said, asking the judge to give him the opportunity to avoid this and get his life back on track.

After weighing what he called the “positive and negative” aspects of Hutchins’ case, Owens handed down a sentence of five years of supervised probation as well as restitution paid to the victims.

Hutchins and one of two other men arrested alongside him in May 2020 both pleaded guilty to two charges at the end of June: first-degree criminal trespass, a Class 5 felony, and identity theft, a Class 4 felony.

Warren Day, also 31 and also from Coconut Creek, Florida, has a sentencing hearing set for the morning of Sept. 27.

Clarence Robinson, who was 19 at the time of the 2020 arrest, of Sunrise, Florida, entered a guilty plea Monday morning to amended charges as part of a plea offer from the District Attorney’s Office. His sentencing hearing will take place on the morning of Nov. 15.

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