Man accused of kidnap hoax imprisioned
VAIL ” Michael Moore asked for leniency Thursday, then Judge Richard Hart swiftly doled out the maximum three years in prison for Moore’s part in an alleged kidnapping hoax.
“I think we both expected it,” said Jim Fahrenholtz, Moore’s attorney. “I’m satisfied that we managed to get away from the worst-case scenario.”
“Worst case” meant conviction on the charges Moore initially faced before pleading guilty to felony menacing. Those charges, which could have drawn a longer prison sentence, included armed robbery, aggravated assault, theft, false reporting and false imprisonment.
Moore’s ex-wife, considered the victim because she was allegedly bound with duct tape during the incident last May ” when the couple was still married ” agreed to the plea deal to put an end to the case, said her attorney, Dave Lugert.
“She is pleased to have the opportunity to close this chapter of her life and move on,” Lugert said.
Lugert said the sentencing was “extraordinary,” because Vail police detectives Ryan Millbern and Robyn Fetterolf presented statements to the court on behalf of Moore’s ex-wife, who has asked to remain anonymous.
“This is the best sentencing presentation by police detectives I’ve ever heard,” Lugert said. “Clearly it led to the court’s decision of the maximum prison sentence.”
Fetterolf, Millbern and prosecutor Greg Crittenden accused Moore of binding his ex-wife with duct tape in the couple’s East Vail home last May. In the drug- and booze- induced incident, Moore faked his own kidnapping to cover up an attempt to live out a “sexual fantasy,” the detectives said.
Fetterolf and Millbern said Moore set his wife up to be held at gunpoint by accomplice, Mike Malovic, who is charged in the incident with false imprisonment, menacing with a deadly weapon, aggravated robbery and assault.
Malovic entered the couple’s home and forced Moore to bind his wife with duct tape that Moore bought earlier that night, the detectives said.
Malovic told the woman if she didn’t allow herself to be raped by him or call a female friend to join them, her husband would suffer the consequences, Millbern said.
But Moore and Malovic left the home, leaving the woman taped up, police said. She freed herself and called police.
Investigators also accused Moore of stealing more than $400 from his ex-wife’s bank account. Moore was arrested two days later at a local home where he had been partying the night before, police said.
In his defense, Moore and Fahrenholtz described a sexually-liberal marriage, and a sexual fantasy gone awry in which Moore’s ex-wife was unintentionally hurt.
“I never meant to hurt (my ex-wife),” Moore said, later adding, “We saw how scared she was and it stopped.”
Moore said he was wrong not to contact the police immediately. In pleading for leniency, he also asked Hart to sentence him to drug and alcohol treatment.
“I’m not a maniac, duct-tape-wielding menace to society as people want you to believe,” Moore said.
But Hart handed down the maximum sentence of three years, saying his ruling was based on Moore’s two prior felonies, the violent nature of the crime and other factors, the judge said.
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or email@example.com.
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