Young a suspect in Arizona murder-for-hire plotWhether Ronald Kelly Young, a person of interest in a 1996 murder, will stand trial on theft and forgery charges in Aspen is in the hands of a judge.After four hours of testimony from Aspen police officer Jim Crowley, who was the only witness called in a preliminary hearing Monday, Young's attorney, Lauren Maytin, asked Pitkin County District Court Judge James Boyd to dismiss the case because the prosecution presented a case largely based on hearsay."Basically every piece of evidence that was admitted today was in fact hearsay," Maytin said. "Not a soul was produced other than Mr. Crowley. ... Hearsay alone does not suffice if more competent evidence is available. I would say there is more competent evidence available and if there isn't, that's the failing of this case. I've never seen a case that had more hearsay in it."While many preliminary hearings are immediately bound over for trial since judges are instructed to view that stage of legal proceedings in a light most favorable to the prosecution, in this case, Boyd said he was taking the preliminary under advisement so he could review case law and look at each count individually. He is expected to make a ruling no later than early next week.Young, 64, is facing four counts in connection to allegations he forged checks from the Aspen Outfitting Co. and Evacuation International in 1995 and 1996. Authorities allege he wrote thousands of dollars of unauthorized checks to pay bills or otherwise boost his bottom line. Young was a business consultant to the businesses, and in at least one case the vice president, but his former higher-ups claim that he forged signatures and wrote checks behind their backs."The checks go to his benefit. A lot of them are made out to him," prosecutor Gail Nichols said.Nichols also defended the integrity of her case, pointing out that while much of the evidence she did present was technically hearsay via Crowley, there were also documents, or direct evidence, discovered in an allegedly stolen van Young is believed to have abandoned not far from his parents' California home.Maytin contended the documents contain hearsay evidence as well."You don't cure hearsay by viewing it," she told the judge.The hearing grew testy at times. Boyd warned Maytin not to talk to the witness while the prosecution was presenting its case -- she told Crowley, "Try again," when he mistakenly read an exhibit -- and he admonished her for sighing and uttering "Jesus" when she disagreed with the police officer's testimony.Maytin's line of questioning provided a glimpse into her defense. She contended that Young's higher-ups owed him money and that sometimes rather than paying him directly, they paid his bills. She also emphasized that the Aspen Police Department never brought in a handwriting expert to discern whether forgery had indeed occurred and said basic investigative work was not completed.Nichols argued that the forged signatures were blatant and obvious.Until his capture in Florida last year, Young was considered a fugitive. He was featured on "America's Most Wanted," which led to his arrest. Authorities with the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say he is likely the triggerman in a murder-for-hire plot allegedly engineered by Aspen resident Pamela Phillips who wanted her ex-husband, Gary Triano, dead. Triano died in a 1996 car explosion in Arizona.Young is being held in Pitkin County Jail on a $175,000 bond. Next week, Judge Boyd will decide whether to raise, lower or keep Young's bond the same.hoop@aspendailynews.com