Yampa man must pay restitution

Judge holds Hillbolt accountable for victim's expenses

Gary E. Salazar

— A 34-year-old Yampa man serving a three-year prison sentence will have to pay about $4,700 in restitution to the man he shot in December 2000.

After a hearing Monday morning, 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Richard P. Doucette determined Warren Dean Hillbolt III must pay $4,700 to Jared Williams, whom Hillbolt shot in the right shoulder.

The amount covers Williams’ medical expenses and clothing that was ruined the night Williams was shot in Hillbolt’s Yampa trailer Dec. 2, 2000.

Because of the wound to his shoulder, Williams spent one night at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Although Doucette ordered the amount be paid, the judge declined to give Williams’ parents $2,250, which was incurred the days following the shooting.

Last August, Hillbolt was found guilty by a 12-member jury of first-degree assault, a class five felony. The jury determined Hillbolt shot the 25-year-old Williams after being provoked. The shooting occurred after the two men had been drinking in Steamboat Springs after a day of skiing.

Because of the jury’s finding, Hillbolt’s attorney, Ron Smith, argued Monday his client should not be liable for any of Williams’ expenses.

“Mr. Williams is accountable for the crime,” Smith said. “This happened because of his highly provocative actions.”

Hillbolt claims he shot Williams in self-defense because the man had assaulted him twice prior to the shooting. Because of the fight, Hillbolt suffered a lingering back injury.

Deputy District Attorney David Waite argued Hillbolt was responsible for the medical bills and the money shelled out by Williams’ parents.

“Williams is not accountable for any crime,” Waite said. “He was not charged. His crime if any was obnoxious behavior.”

Waite also argued Hillbolt should be responsible for Williams’ parents expenses.

“These folks would not have made a trip if it were not for Mr. Hillbolt’s actions,” Waite said. “It is not unreasonable to ask for this, but some of the meals were a little high.”

Following the shooting, Williams’ parents flew out from Chicago, which cost $720.

During their three-day visit, the couple stayed at a Steamboat Springs motel, $460; rented a car, $360; and ate at various restaurants, which totaled $632.

The couple was also seeking reimbursements for parking in Chicago, $56, and gas, $26.

Smith argued against his client, who was not present, from paying any money to Williams’ parents.

Smith pointed out Williams was released from the hospital by the time his parents arrived, and his client should not pay for meals at some of Steamboat’s “finest restaurants.”

“There has to be a line drawn somewhere,” Smith said.

After hearing arguments, Doucette determined Hillbolt was responsible for the costs associated only with Williams.

“Who is a victim?” Doucette asked. “I am not prepared to extend it to his parents.”

Hillbolt started serving a three-year prison sentence when he was sentenced by Doucette in September.

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