Case involving two teenagers arrested at school will extend into next year
Charged with attempted menacing and interfering with an educational institution, two Steamboat teenagers will see their cases extend into 2023.
During separate court appearances on Wednesday, Dec. 21, Zachery Durham and Damion Rhodes were both granted a continuance. They are scheduled to appear in court again on Jan. 25.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Durham’s attorney, public defender Leslie Goldstein, told the court she planned on moving the case forward but has been unable to speak with her client. After Durham and his attorney exchanged phone numbers during the proceeding, Routt County Judge Erin Wilson granted the continuance.
The defense attorney representing Rhodes, Randall Salky, said he and his client were open to a misdemeanor resolution but requested more time to gather information.
“We have been diligently conducting an investigation,” Salky said. “I can tell you that we’re making good progress on what we need to know.”
Rhodes was then granted the same continuance as Durham.
Durham and Rhodes were arrested Sept. 27 in the parking lot at Steamboat Springs High School while allegedly in possession of Airsoft rifles and several knives.
According to Steamboat Springs police, officers were acting on an anonymous complaint through Safe2Tell, a service for reporting “anything that concerns or threatens you, your friends, your family, or your community,” according to the service’s website.
The tip pointed law enforcement to a social media post where Durham allegedly posed with what appeared to be an AR-style rifle with a caption saying, “Full on drive-by (expletive) here.”
An investigation led officers to the high school parking lot, where they found Durham and Rhodes, who was seen loading a magazine into what appeared to be a rifle. The officers then found an Airsoft rifle in their vehicle along with several knives.
As a result, the school was placed into a secure perimeter, which is a step under a lockdown, as normal school operations continued and students were allowed to move inside the building with the doors locked.
While Durham, 18, was not a student at the school, Rhodes, who is 19 years old, was enrolled at SSHS. Officers arrested both of them on-scene and booked them into the Routt County Jail and Detention Center. Durham and Rhodes were released on bond Oct. 6.
As a condition for their release, the two are prohibited from speaking with one another or any other witnesses in the case. They were also required to sign a protection order that prohibits them from being on any school property within the district.
During the Oct. 6 bond hearing, Goldstein told the court her client was very young and does not have a criminal history. She added that while her client’s actions were perceived as a threat, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was threatening someone.
On Wednesday, Judge Wilson informed the defendants and their attorneys that because these cases have been pending for several months, she expects it to end with a negotiated resolution or the cases could go up to the district court.
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at spowell@SteamboatPilot.com
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