An Aspen man pleaded guilty Monday to class 3 felony aggravated robbery, as well as two counts of felony possession of a weapon by a convict.
Yuri Ognacevic, 39, in Pitkin County District Court Monday admitted guilt to holding up Theatre Aspen’s concession stand with a screwdriver during a July 2019 performance of “Guys and Dolls,” netting him about $250. Additionally, he was arrested last summer in connection with two separate purse snatchings in a week — each by way of allegedly stealing purses off the back of chairs on Aspen restaurant patios.
In some ways, it’s Ognacevic’s past that has led to many of the charges for which he’s pleaded guilty. Ognacevic was part of a group of a dozen local teenagers implicated in a string of armed robberies that shook the community in 1999. He was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in an armed robbery of the Clark’s grocery store where the perpetrators made off with nearly $22,000 in cash.
Days after his July arrest, a search warrant allowed police to enter his Snowmass Village home, where — among the four guns found — was an AR-15. Ognacevic was sentenced to four years in prison for his participation in an armed robbery, just one of several incidents he was allegedly connected to in 1999. As a convicted felon, he cannot possess firearms.
In the early days of court appearances after his 2020 arrest, Ognacevic did not follow Pitkin County District Court Judge Chris Seldin’s repeated advice to seek legal counsel. Rather, he sought to represent himself, and he maintained that he would be pleading not guilty to the robbery charge — though he admitted he would likely plead guilty to the weapons possession charges.
Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham declined to comment Monday before the sentencing hearing. Though the felony aggravated robbery charge carries a sentencing range between four and 12 years in state prison, there is not an affiliated mandatory sentence, which means there is room for a lesser sentence.
Ognacevic is next due in court Aug. 17 for his sentencing hearing.