Staged-kidnapping suspect can go home
EAGLE – Walking with a limp, the East Vail man who allegedly staged his own armed kidnapping in May was told by a judge Tuesday not to use a back ailment as an excuse to miss court appearances. Michael Moore, 35, who is charged with four felonies for, among other things, allegedly tying up his wife during the fake abduction, did win one battle. An Eagle County judge has allowed him to leave Colorado and return to live with family in Illinois while awaiting a possible trial.”Mr. Moore, you face very serious charges,” Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett told Moore during an appearance Tuesday. “I will suggest that until you get this case resolved you don’t rely on your medical condition to fail to appear.”Moore, who used to work for Trapper’s Cabin in Beaver Creek, was arrested two days after the alleged self-abduction and posted a $25,000 bond. With the judge’s permission, he moved to Mackesney Park, Ill. to work and live with family. Moore missed a court date on June 13. He sent the judge a letter saying he couldn’t come because of medical reasons. Gannet acknowledged receiving a letter from Moore’s doctor explaining that Moore has a chronic back problem, but he said the doctor said the problem isn’t life threatening.
Prosecutors asked Gannett not to let Moore to leave Colorado again. In addition to his failed court appearances, they cited Moore’s previous criminal history in Illinois, where he served time in prison, they said. Moore was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle – a felony – home burglary and narcotic possession, prosecutors told the judge. Moore declined to comment for this story.”Because of his medical condition he can’t make a living here,” Moore’s lawyer, Jim Fahrenholtz, told the judge. “His father will make sure he comes back.”Gannett allowed Moore to leave the state to work in his father’s restaurant in Illinois. Gannett ordered Moore be monitored by a private probation agency and use no drugs or alcohol.
The chargesVail Police initially reported Moore was abducted at gunpoint by two men who forced their way into his East Vail apartment on May 12. Moore told police the abductors ordered him to bind his wife’s hands and ankles with duct tape and then ordered him to produce money. Moore allegedly took his wife’s ATM card and later was video-taped retrieving $400 from an ATM in Vail Village.Police said Moore told his wife to find a safe place and to wait an hour before calling police, just before he left with the two men. Moore was found in Avon two days later at a friend’s home and arrested shortly after.According to the arrest warrant, Moore attended a party in Beaver Creek the night after the incident, when he was still supposedly missing. Witnesses interviewed by police said Moore did not mention being abducted or held at gunpoint.Police also found a receipt for duct tape in a pair of Moore’s pants. An unloaded .22 caliber revolver – matching Moore’s wife’s description of the weapon used in the incident – was found in a backpack in a closet in Moore’s apartment, police said.
In the alleged kidnapping hoax, police also arrested an accomplice, Michael George Malovic, 48, of Vail. Malovic allegedly helped Moore stage the abduction, police said.Moore’s wife filed for divorce a week after the incident.Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or email@example.com. Vail, Colorado