Top

news

Stories

 

Can't Buy a Thrill

Aspen's bizarre crime spree sent some of its favorite sons to prison -- and left the town wondering what went wrong.

Cody came in for questioning with his mother and no attorney. At first he denied being involved in the Clark's robbery. But Kim urged him to tell the truth, and Joe DiSalvo, the investigator for the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, assured him, "You're still a juvenile. You don't get treated like we do." Soon he was copping to Clark's and the liquor store, giving DiSalvo plenty of ammo to use in other interrogations.

Wade Hammond brought a pipe and marijuana and a few grams of ecstasy to his police interview. He was searched, the dope confiscated. He told the police he'd spent his robbery money on food, drugs, hotels, clothes from the Gap and the fleeting attentions of the dancers at Saturday's, an all-nude strip club in east Denver.

Moses had blown his share of the take, too. "The thing that boggles my mind is, I don't have anything to show for all the money that I had," he complained.

Aspen school superintendent Tom Farrell visited several of the robbers in jail: "Every little kid in town knew who they were."The youngest of the Aspen robbers, Cody Wille was handed one of the harshest sentences. Now a resident of the state's Youthful Offender System, he turned eighteen last month.Raoul Wille (right), Cody's father, was a legendary risk-taker who died in the Himalayas. Following her son's arrest, Kim Wille (above) embarked on a quest to bring restorative justice programs to the Roaring Fork Valley.His first burglary was such a rush that Yuri Ognacevic agreed to be the wheel man on an armed robbery.Jacob Richards (top) helped Moses Greengrass (center) and others plan the Clark's Market robbery. Two weeks later, Wade Hammond (bottom) joined Greengrass in a similar robbery in Snowmass.
Aspen school superintendent Tom Farrell visited several of the robbers in jail: "Every little kid in town knew who they were."The youngest of the Aspen robbers, Cody Wille was handed one of the harshest sentences. Now a resident of the state's Youthful Offender System, he turned eighteen last month.Raoul Wille (right), Cody's father, was a legendary risk-taker who died in the Himalayas. Following her son's arrest, Kim Wille (above) embarked on a quest to bring restorative justice programs to the Roaring Fork Valley.His first burglary was such a rush that Yuri Ognacevic agreed to be the wheel man on an armed robbery.Jacob Richards (top) helped Moses Greengrass (center) and others plan the Clark's Market robbery. Two weeks later, Wade Hammond (bottom) joined Greengrass in a similar robbery in Snowmass.
The youngest of the Aspen robbers, Cody Wille was handed one of the harshest sentences. Now a resident of the state's Youthful Offender System, he turned eighteen last month.
Brett Amole
The youngest of the Aspen robbers, Cody Wille was handed one of the harshest sentences. Now a resident of the state's Youthful Offender System, he turned eighteen last month.

Investigators asked him if he knew anything about the theft of thousands of dollars' worth of snowboards from a Snowmass shop a couple of years before. Moses was outraged. Other people's money, okay. But even the king of thieves had a line he would not cross.

"I'm not a saint," he said, "but stealing snowboards is way against my -- if someone stole my snowboard, I'd be pissed. I have a feeling if I was riding someone's stolen snowboard, I would probably break my neck."


Letter from Moses Greengrass to Jacob Richards, sent from the Garfield County Jail, October 1999 (original spelling retained):

"Open your eyes to reality. If you go to the big house on a 12-year sentence, you're going to be out in six or less cuz it ain't a violent offense. Let's say they add two or three years for contempt of court or purgery. You'll do a 1/3 of that. So all together you do six or seven years, you'll be out when you're 25, 26 -- still young, dumb and full of cum...

"Let's assume I plead not guilty and go to trial. They're going to subpeona your ass for sure. And this is where I give you the guilt trip. How are you going to feel, burying me for twenty to sixty years. Not to good huh. So I'm saying sacrafice those two to three for that contempt or purgery and make these evil corrupt DA's loose...I know you were taught me first, but fuck that. I'd sacrafice my life for you...

"Let's say you point that finger in the courtroom and bury me. You're never going to see me again and you're going to have to live with that guilt until you die. You make the call brotha. Smoke a fatty with me one day fairly soon or live the rest of your paranoide life lookin over your shoulder, dealing with that awful guilt."


Letter from Jacob Richards to Cody Wille, January 2000:

"What's up Codfish...This last year was out of control eh. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I would do business a little differently... You and Yuri and Wade are going to have a rough time of it in prison being a narc, snitch, rat, whatever is a tough jacket to get rid of. My advice is to be antisocial and lie and say your from Denver. If you say Aspen they'll know all about our cases.

"You cannot testify. Period. Invoke your 5th amendment rights or purger yourself. Purgery is only a 6-18 month sentence, don't finger anyone. I'm not Wade ain't Yuri isn't, so refuse or fuck up your statements. Peace."


Letter from the Wille family to Pitkin County District Court, January 2000:

"We loved Cody's father Raoul very much, as did many people. The same qualities that made him so well-liked and admired did not translate into being a good father. Raoul was the ultimate risk-taker and adrenalie junkie... [Kim Wille] had her own emotional and financial problems...They both loved Cody very much but were unable to care for themselves, let alone a child...

"Through no fault of his own, Cody was often unsupervised, had no role model and saw the law broken by his father. None of us realized how bad the situation really was."


The first to confess, Nathan Morse was the first to accept a plea bargain. Facing multiple charges, last December he pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, a felony, and was sentenced to four years of probation. He spent a total of 84 days in jail.

Other minor players cut similar deals for probation, including Alex Cassatt and the juvenile who joined Yuri in the first Take 2 burglary. Nineteen-year-old Shea Treadwell Estes, a former employee of the Village Market who admitted to helping plan that robbery, also received probation.

Wade Hammond, Yuri Ognacevic and Jacob Richards each pleaded guilty to a single felony for their role in the armed robberies. Although they faced possible prison time, there was a general expectation, shared by Pitkin County Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills and Judge J.E. DeVilbiss, that the young men might qualify for a Colorado Department of Corrections boot-camp program that could reduce their time.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...