Ellifritz sentenced to 36 years in prison after pleading guilty to Elliot Stahl’s murder
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The man accused of killing Elliot Stahl has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and has been sentenced to 36 years in prison.
William Clive Ellifritz’s sentence was handed down by Judge Michael O’Hara on Tuesday in Routt County District Court.
“Elliot Stahl’s life was cut short in this senseless killing, and now William Ellifritz will spend a significant portion of his life behind bars — no one wins,” 14th Judicial District Attorney Matt Karzen said.
According to Karzen, the root cause of the murder was methamphetamine addiction.
“The rise in addiction and drug-related violence in Northwest Colorado is a serious problem that deserves our focused attention as a community,” Karzen said.
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Ellifritz, 26; Brooke L. Forquer, 21; and Skyla M. Piccolo-Laabs, 23, all Craig residents, were arrested Oct. 17, 2019, in connection with Stahl’s death on charges of first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree felony murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Stahl’s body was discovered Oct. 14 by a fisherman in the Routt National Forest off Forest Service Road 900, which is the road that leads to Stillwater Reservoir in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. The Routt County Sheriff’s Office ruled the 26-year-old Steamboat man’s death a homicide three days later.
Forquer and Piccolo-Laabs pleaded guilty in March to reckless manslaughter, accessory to a crime and abuse of a corpse, and were sentenced to 12 months in Routt County Jail and 16 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
According to testimony during the three suspects’ preliminary hearing, Ellifritz stabbed Stahl in the neck while the four were driving up Rabbit Ears Pass on U.S. Highway 40 in Forquer’s car. The women testified that Ellifritz forced them to stab Stahl as well after an altercation in the car.
The three then dumped Stahl’s body in the area south of Yampa.
“That this particular case would be solved and brought to justice was not a foregone conclusion, and I want to extend great thanks to the dedicated work of the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, Steamboat Springs Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Craig Police Department, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the lead prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Matthew J.W. Tjosvold,” Karzen said.
To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @lschlichtman.
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Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021