Aspen’s new deputy district attorney, Jason Slothouber, had a busy first day Tuesday, overseeing three felony advisements and interrupting one of the hearings so he could be sworn in and continue prosecuting the cases.
Judge Gail Nichols of Pitkin County District Court administered the oath of office to him at 11:30 a.m., the same time Slothouber’s boss, new District Attorney Sherry Caloia, and other deputies were sworn in in Glenwood Springs.
Slothouber then returned to the advisement of Mark Alderdice, 48, of Aspen, who is charged with three felonies — aggravated motor vehicle theft, burglary and theft — along with DUI.
Police say that late Thursday or early Friday, Alderdice, a bicycling coach, took an SUV from The Little Nell that had the keys inside it, drove to a student’s house on North 8th Street and took some of her belongings from her garage.
According to the arrest warrant for Alderdice, he told police that he had been drinking at La Hosteria earlier in the evening with a friend, became lonely and called the woman twice before driving to her home.
The alleged victim called police around 3:30 a.m. Friday to report that she heard noises and saw lights coming from her garage. The lights turned off as Aspen police officer Jeff Fain approached, and a male walked from the garage to a black SUV parked in front of the house, the warrant says.
Fain talked to the male as he entered the vehicle and reported that he smelled of alcohol, wrote Aspen police detective Walter Chi in the warrant.
The woman knew Alderdice as “her bike coach but he [had] no reason to be in her garage” at 3:30 a.m., and she didn’t give him permission to be there, Chi wrote.
The alleged victim and Fain noticed open boxes in the garage, and a TV appeared to be damaged during an attempt to remove it from the wall.
Fain then learned that the vehicle was from the Nell and that it did not belong to Alderdice, though he had the keys. He allegedly told the officer that he had “borrowed” it but wouldn’t elaborate further.
Fain arrested Alderdice for DUI, and he allegedly had a 0.14 blood-alcohol content, above Colorado’s 0.08 threshold for driving while intoxicated. He was released from jail Friday after being charged only for DUI.
Asked why Fain didn’t arrest Alderdice then for motor vehicle theft, Chi said Tuesday that police were unable to contact a representative of the SUV’s owner, GO Rental, a business at the Aspen Business Center, at the time. And a Nell valet was unsure if Alderdice had permission to use the SUV, Chi said.
A few hours later, a Go Rental manager confirmed his company owned the vehicle and had rented it to the Nell. The manager said it was valued at $72,000, the warrant says. Inside it, police allegedly found a pair of women’s yoga pants, two bike jerseys/jackets, a bike crank, a pair of new sunglasses, a handle bar, pedals and other bike items. Police estimated the items’ value at $1,540.
There was also an airport welcome sign that said “Little Nell Guest” and a radio that was still on inside the SUV, Chi wrote.
A Nell representative told police that the SUV was last seen parked in front of the hotel and that Alderdice was not authorized to use it, the warrant says.
The arrest warrant was then issued for the felony charges, and Alderdice turned himself in Tuesday morning.
Nichols reduced his bond from $25,000 to $3,000 after Alderdice’s attorney, Jeff Wertz of Aspen, said his client has a job and has owned a home here for 20 years.
Also being advised Tuesday was Hayden Reilly, 21, of Carbondale, who faces a charge of felony criminal mischief.
Belly Up security allegedly caught him blue- and black-handed early Tuesday, telling police they confiscated markers from Reilly’s after he allegedly wrote graffiti on the stalls and walls of the men’s bathroom and on an outside railing. The venue hosted the Nappy Roots that night.
“While speaking with Reilly, I immediately noticed that his hands were heavily stained with black and blue marker,” Aspen police officer Ryan Turner wrote in an affidavit.
The colors appeared to be identical to the colors of the markers that were taken from him, the affidavit says.
Reilly, who appeared to be intoxicated, allegedly initially denied the crime and blamed a friend. At the jail, though, he confessed to writing “maybe two” tags in the men’s restroom and a couple more on the railing outside, Turner wrote.
He said he had been with three or four friends at the venue and that “he is an artist and does a lot of drawing on canvas,” according to the affidavit. “Reilly explained to me that the black and blue markers were being passed around between him and his acquaintances while each of them wrote their tag.”
While Reilly is currently charged with a felony, it may be dropped to a misdemeanor, depending upon how much it costs to fix the damage, Slothouber said after the hearing.
Also, Sergio Avila Cabanas, 36, of Carbondale, was advised that he faces a felony charge of criminal impersonation after he allegedly used a different name during a recent traffic stop.
He showed up Tuesday for the traffic offense, and was then arrested and advised on the felony count. Cabanas also has an immigration hold.