Fatka’s prison time stands | SteamboatToday.com

Fatka’s prison time stands

Motion for sentence reduction fails in Alpine Bank theft case

Pamela Jean Williams

— Terry Fatka’s attempt to reduce her eight years of prison time based on her cooperation with investigators in the theft of $1.3 million from Alpine Bank fell flat Thursday morning as Judge Shelley Hill reiterated her initial sentence.

Fatka’s attorney, Erick Knaus, argued a reduction was due because Fatka took responsibility for her actions, helped the prosecution and because she was not the “brains of the operation.”

On the stand, Fatka said she took full responsibility for her actions. She said that although she was not the mastermind in the thefts during the four years, she went along willingly and was culpable in the crime.

“I was influenced in the beginning, and then I went right along with it. And I’m paying for it,” she said. Fatka told the judge how she has “done enough bad” and is now trying to do good work. She has had no referrals for bad behavior in prison and is taking part in a cosmetology course so that she may find work and pay restitution when she is released, she said.

Steamboat Springs Police Department Capt. Bob DelValle testified that Fatka did break down and tell the truth about the thefts after about an hour of questioning. Fatka also came back to police with information about two other cases police had not yet asked her about, expanding the number of victims from four to six. Police already were aware of the cases, but Fatka did not know that when she confessed to the additional thefts.

Knaus requested that Fatka’s sentence be reduced to three years in prison. District Attorney Carl Stahl said the original sentence was appropriate because Fatka likely will get out after four years in prison, the same amount of time she stole money and lived a lavish lifestyle.

Fatka did not ask for a reduction in her restitution payments. She and conspirator Pamela Williams were ordered to pay the entire $1.3 million, plus interest.

Hill said she granted the hearing because she was under the impression there was new evidence to present in Fatka’s sentencing from William’s restitution hearing the previous week. She said that because she did not hear any new evidence, she was not inclined to change the original sentence.

Hill apologized to Fatka for the havoc the conviction has wreaked on her life, including family strain with her husband and her children, but said the problems were the direct result of Fatka’s actions.

“I gave you the sentence which I thought was appropriate, and I still think it is appropriate,” she said. “Much of the sentence I gave you had very little to do with you but with sending a message.”

After spending two months in the Routt County Jail for Williams’ trial, Fatka is likely to be sent back to La Vista Correctional Facility to serve the remainder of her term.

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