Man pleads guilty for thefts |

Man pleads guilty for thefts

— A 32-year-old Steamboat Springs man faces six years in prison after pleading guilty to numerous charges stemming from the theft of two Jeep Cherokees last summer.

On Friday morning, Michael Pope pleaded guilty to felony charges of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, theft and violation of a bail bond condition. He also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, a misdemeanor.

Because of a plea agreement, Pope pleaded guilty to the charges for stealing two Jeep Cherokees during a nine-day period last July.

In return for the guilty pleas, Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Wittemyer capped the amount of time Pope could serve in prison at six years.

The motor vehicle theft and the theft charges, which are class four felonies, each carry maximum prison sentences of 12 years.

Wittemyer also dismissed 13 other charges Pope faced because of the two incidents.

Fourteenth Judicial District Judge Joel S. Thompson will sentence Pope in May. A presentence investigation will determine if Thompson will accept the plea agreement.

Last January, Thompson nixed a plea agreement, in which Pope would have served two years in prison for pleading guilty to the same charges.

Thompson rejected the plea agreement because he said the prison sentence was not long enough because of Pope’s lengthy criminal history.

Between 1987 and 1991, Pope was convicted of numerous vehicle thefts, assaults and driving under the influence of alcohol.

In 1991, he was convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and spent six years in prison.

Pope got in trouble again when he stole a red Jeep Cherokee in the early morning hours of July 10 from Mount Werner Lodge.

After a pursuit that started on Old Fish Creek Falls Road, Steamboat Springs officers arrested an intoxicated Pope when he lost control of the SUV at the intersection of Pine and Third streets.

Pope allegedly tried to flee on foot but was arrested when he was found hiding in a flowerbed in the 300 block of Lincoln Avenue.

Pope was booked into the Routt County Jail but was released July 18 because prosecutors failed to file charges within 72 hours of his arrest.

In the early morning hours of July 19, an intoxicated Pope was arrested a second time. This time, Pope stole a dark-colored 1998 Jeep Cherokee and attempted to elude police during a high-speed chase on U.S. 40.

Pope was arrested on foot by officers in the 3100 block of Chinook Lane. Since this arrest, Pope has been held at the Routt County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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