Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Defendants in crime spree plead guilty

Sentencing set for Jan. 5 on multiple burglary charges

Express Staff Writer

    Sentencing has been set for Jan. 5, 2015, for two Hailey men who were charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor offenses following a crime spree involving vandalism, burglary, theft and fraudulent use of a credit card in Hailey and Ketchum the evening of May 13.
    David Kevin Aranda, 22, and Juan Carlos Molina-Lopez, 23, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of burglary each before Judge Robert J. Elgee in Blaine County Fifth District Court on Oct. 27. In exchange for their guilty pleas, numerous other felony and misdemeanor charges have been dismissed. Aranda was originally charged with seven crimes and Molina-Lopez with eight crimes.
    “I gather from the information that there were a lot of other similar crimes that night,” Elgee said at the Aranda hearing.
    Burglary is punishable in Idaho by up to 14 years in prison.
    The guilty pleas led to the cancellation of jury trials that were scheduled for Dec. 9 for Aranda and for Oct. 28 for Molina-Lopez
    Both men were represented in court on Oct. 27 by Hailey attorney Michael Kraynick. Aranda is currently free on $20,000 bond, while Molina-Lopez is free on $10,000 bond.
    According to Hailey police reports, on the evening of May 13 and into the following morning Aranda, Molina-Lopez and a 17-year-old Bellevue boy were allegedly involved in vandalism and thefts that occurred in the Woodside area of southeast Hailey, in the vicinity of the intersection of Bullion Street and River Street in west Hailey and in the Evergreen Lane area of west Ketchum.
    Vehicle vandalism involved spray paint and broken windows. A Honda Element was stolen from Hailey and recovered in Ketchum and a Ford Explorer was stolen in Ketchum and recovered in Hailey.
    Aranda, Molina-Lopez and the 17-year-old boy were arrested later on May 14.
    According to court records, the 17-year-old was charged with five crimes but admitted in July to misdemeanor offenses of unlawful entry, petit theft and malicious injury to property. He was given a withheld judgment but sentenced to 28 days in jail with credit given for 18 days already served. He was also placed on probation for 18 months.

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