Resident charged in Jan. 29 shooting at home south of Steamboat

William Bryce Scholle, 40, faces two felonies and one misdemeanor

Steamboat Pilot & Today

A 40-year-old Routt County man is facing felony charges for allegedly shooting an unarmed man in the abdomen on Jan. 29 at a home outside Steamboat Springs.

According to the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, William Bryce Scholle has been charged with first-degree assault and menacing, both felonies, as well as prohibited use of a firearm, a misdemeanor. The charges stem from the January shooting outside Scholle’s home south of Steamboat, in which a 29-year-old Routt County man was wounded.

Information previously released by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office had noted that the 29-year-old was shot after a resident of a home on Routt County Road 35 called authorities to report a trespassing in progress.

According to the sheriff’s office, the resident had called, saying a vehicle drove up the driveway and an unknown man had gotten out. Another resident, presumably Scholle, then went outside and held the man at gunpoint.

The sheriff’s office had previously reported that the 29-year-old may have charged toward the house when the homeowner shot him. However, after further investigation, the district attorney’s feels that charges are warranted.

“A lengthy investigation was conducted by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office investigator, and that investigation revealed facts and circumstances supporting criminal prosecution,” District Attorney Matt Karzen said in a statement issued on Monday, May 2.

“Drawing a gun on an unarmed person, pointing it at them, and then subsequently shooting them are all very serious decisions, and the law appropriately recognizes the discipline and judgment required of all responsible gun owners,” Karzen continued. “When that is ignored, civilized society requires accountability.”

The man who was shot was initially treated at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center before being flown to a hospital in the Denver area. In March, the district attorney said the 29-year-old had been released from the hosptial. On Monday, the DA’s office said that he is still recovering from the shooting.

Scholle has been released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond and is prohibited from possessing firearms as a condition of his bond. His next appearance in court is scheduled June 7.

Scholle is being represented by attorneys Jason Dunn and Stanley Garnett of the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck law firm based in Denver.

“We’re very surprised that the district attorney elected to bring these charges,” Dunn said over the phone Monday. “It’s an unfortunate situation for everybody involved. Mr. Scholle did what he felt like was necessary to protect his wife and their two girls in his home.”

Dunn added that Scholle wishes the incident hadn’t happened, and Dunn said the defense team looks forward to explaining it to a jury at the right time.

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