Friday, July 25, 2014

Utah men charged with robbery

Ketchum police allege suspects used force to steal wallet

Express Staff Writer

    Two Utah men remained incarcerated Thursday in the Blaine County jail after being charged with robbery, a felony, for allegedly using “strong arm” measures to steal a Lewiston man’s wallet in downtown Ketchum early Wednesday morning.
    Ketchum police identified the suspects as John R. Maama and Scotty L. Hoerster. Both men are 37. The alleged victim was identified as 49-year-old Mark W. Sheppard. Maama and Hoerster were arrested shortly after the alleged robbery at 1:50 a.m. Ketchum police reported that Hoerster was also arrested on an “outstanding fugitive from justice warrant in Utah.”
    Both suspects made initial appearances later Wednesday in Blaine County Magistrate Court. Bond was set at $40,000 for Maama and at $100,000 for Hoerster. Both suspects were approved for public defenders. Hailey attorney Christopher Simms was assigned to represent Maama and the Roark Law Firm, of Hailey, was assigned to represent Hoerster. Preliminary hearings for both men were scheduled for Aug. 6 before Judge R. Ted Israel.
    Ketchum Police Chief Dave Kassner reported in a press release that the arrests occurred after a Ketchum deputy was making a “routine bar-closing patrol” and intervened in what the officer initially “believed to be a fight” at the corner of Main and Second streets.
    Kassner wrote that the victim alleged that “he was held in a choke hold by one suspect and struck on the face by the other before having his wallet removed from his pocket.”
    The police chief reported that both suspects fled when the deputy arrived, but that Maama was apprehended after a “brief foot chase.” Hoerster was later arrested while “entering the hotel he was staying in.”
    Kassner further reported that both men had been staying in the area while working for a local private contractor.

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