Routt County teenager sentenced to probation, public service |

Routt County teenager sentenced to probation, public service

Zane Russell Elston

— A local teenager suspected of breaking into cars and a cabin as well as setting fires in Stagecoach in June has avoided jail time and instead will be on probation for three years and have to complete 125 hours of public service.

Zane Russell Elston, who was 18 at the time of the incident, also was ordered to pay more than $5,000 to the victims.

Elston and a 16-year-old boy were accused of breaking into five cars and vandalizing construction equipment along with a cabin at the top of the old Stagecoach ski area.

Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said in June that it is thought the teenagers also are the ones who started a bonfire outside the cabin using benches and propane tanks. A smoldering broom was found inside the cabin, which property co-owner Chris Wittemyer thought was an attempt to burn down the cabin.

Information about the juvenile's case was unavailable.

The juvenile and Elston were arrested on suspicion of multiple charges including second-degree burglary, fourth-degree arson, first-degree trespassing and criminal mischief.

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Elston was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to misdemeanor theft and first-degree criminal trespassing, a Class 5 felony.

The felony carries a deferred judgment, meaning the charge will be dismissed if Elston abides by the conditions of his probation during the next three years.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email