EAGLE — A man accused of stealing an SUV at knifepoint rejected a plea deal and will take his chances at trial.
Evan Reichert, 33, decided he’d rather stand trial than agree to a plea deal for 24 years in prison. If convicted he faces up to 48 years behind bars. His trial is scheduled to begin June 1, 2020. Reichert remains in the Eagle County jail.
Reichert, who has been convicted of multiple felonies, will be tried as a habitual criminal.
What police say happened
Reichert landed back behind bars on July 5. He is accused of threatening a Vail Marriott valet with a knife, forcing that valet to move — still at knifepoint — to where Reichert could get the keys to a 2019 Chevrolet Suburban registered to a guest from Texas. Reichert allegedly drove away in that stolen Suburban and crashed it into the back of the neighboring Ritz Carlton hotel — the next hotel up the street.
The 911 call from the Vail Marriott came into the Vail Public Safety Communications Center at 8:20 p.m on July 5, Vail police said.
Vail police officers were on the scene in moments.
Police say after Reichert crashed the SUV, he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, running back into the Marriott.
Law enforcement officers from several agencies surrounded the building and immediately started a systematic search.
Marriott guests were asked to stay in their rooms or shelter in place during the search for Reichert. The Marriott was hosting a Bravo! Vail event attendees were asked to stay in the Marriott’s ballroom during the search.
Police found Reichert at 10:30 p.m. near the rear of the Marriott at the bike path along Gore Creek.
Besides attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated motor vehicle theft, Reichert’s other charges range from assaulting a police officer to property damage, stealing a scooter and a bicycle and driving that allegedly stolen vehicle on a driver license that had been revoked because he is also a habitual traffic offender.
Reichert’s criminal habit
Reichert’s 37-page criminal record started in 2005 in Florida with larceny, narcotics, burglary, probation violations, and other crimes, prosecutors said.
He migrated to Colorado in 2011 where he added to his criminal record with an August 2015 conviction for aggravated motor vehicle theft, according to the list of charges against him.
He was sentenced to six years in prison but asked to be placed in community corrections — sort of a halfway house where prisoners can hold a job in the community and return when their workday is done. Reichert lasted 26 days in community corrections before he walked away — making him an escapee from Colorado’s state prison system.