Former Routt County coach appears in court in kratom case
Casey Schaeffel, a former coach accused of distributing kratom to high school athletes in Hayden and Steamboat Springs, appeared in court on Wednesday, March 8.
During the hearing, Routt County Judge Erin Wilson said a parent had submitted an impact statement indicating the parent did not want Schaeffel charged and wanted her child to still be able to have contact with him.
Wilson issued a mandatory protection order barring Schaeffel from having contact with the Hayden and Steamboat Springs high schools.
Schaeffel’s lawyer Emily Kelly said the defense was not going to request any modifications to the protection order. However, she requested a continuance, as the investigation into the alleged distribution of kratom at Hayden High School and Steamboat Springs High School has not concluded.
“Since there is an ongoing investigation, we would be requesting a continuance until that investigation has wrapped up,” Kelly said in court.
There was no estimated timeline for when the investigation might conclude, but Schaeffel is scheduled to appear in court for a status conference on April 12.
Schaeffel is accused of distributing kratom, an herbal extract that is not approved for medical use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to student-athletes while working as a coach in both Hayden High School and Steamboat Springs High School this fall and winter.
Hayden police have said they learned about the allegations through the school and began their investigation in late January. Hayden Detective John Kregar sent the finding from the January investigation to the district attorney in February.
Hayden police later shared information with the Steamboat Springs Police Department, which is conducting an investigation as well.
Kit Geary is the county, public safety and education reporter. To reach her, call 970-871-4229 or email her at kgeary@SteamboatPilot.com.
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