Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trials set in Ketchum home-theft case

Charges dismissed against 2 earlier suspects


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Benjamin Patrick Dugan Shanna Marie Deleon

Jury trials have been scheduled for later this year for two Ketchum residents accused of possessing jewelry stolen from a home in west Ketchum last spring.

Both Shanna Marie Deleon, 35, and Benjamin Patrick Dugan, 32, are charged with felony grand theft by possession of stolen property. The two allegedly possessed jewelry or watches stolen from the home when the owner was away this spring.

Deleon pleaded not guilty when arraigned Monday in Blaine County 5th District Court. A jury trial was scheduled to begin Nov. 29. She is represented by public defender Douglas Werth and remains free on $3,500 bond.

Dugan was arraigned in 5th District Court on July 18. He also pleaded not guilty. A jury trial was scheduled for Oct. 18. Dugan remained incarcerated Tuesday in the Blaine County jail on $25,000 bond. He is represented by public defender Stephen Thompson.

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There have been three other suspects in the case.

Grand theft charges are still pending in Blaine County juvenile court against a 16-year-old Ketchum boy who allegedly stole the items from the home. His next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9 before Magistrate Judge Mark Ingram. The boy is represented by public defender Dan Dolan.

According to Ketchum police, the value of the stolen jewelry and other items was about $100,000. Ketchum police reported in June that the owner of the home had allowed the boy access to her residence while she was away for several months.

Felony charges of aiding and abetting grand theft were dismissed against two other suspects, David K. Aranda, 19, and Juan Carlos Molina, 20. Both are from Hailey. Aranda and Molina had been accused of helping the 16-year-old boy sell jewelry stolen from the home to Christopher and Co. in Hailey and Diamond Buyers in Ketchum.

Dismissal of the charges came at a preliminary hearing on July 5 in Blaine County Magistrate Court. According to court records, Magistrate Judge Jason Walker ruled that the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office had failed to show that either Aranda or Molina knew the jewelry was stolen.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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