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Willburn plea deal rescinded, trial dates set

WALSENBURG — Last week the district court in Huerfano County accepted a plea agreement for a defendant charged with felony counts of assault against an at-risk victim, his elderly father, and sentenced the defendant to two 18-month terms and a single one year term for a bail bond violation in the state department of corrections. The court also agreed to release the defendant on a short medical furlough prior to going to prison. The defendent was supposed to receive medical treatment at Parkview hospital in Pueblo, but now, all bets are off. It is alleged defendant Wesley Willburn, 55, while on the medical furlough, robbed the US Bank in the 500 block of north Main Street in Pueblo at approximately 12:40 pm Thursday, February 11. Willburn was arrested the same day at a home in the 400 block of W. 8th St., in Pueblo for the alleged robbery. Pueblo police announced the arrest at 9:40 pm that night. Willburn allegedly entered the bank, demanded money and made an unknown threat to a bank employee before exiting on foot. The amount of money stolen has not been disclosed. Witness accounts and a thorough investigation by Pueblo officers are credited with the same-day arrest. Willburn, with his attorney, Janet Kinniry, appeared in Third Judicial Court in Walsenburg on

Tuesday, February 16 for what was to be a resentencing hearing. That would not be the case. Judge Claude Appel ordered the defense and prosecution JP Martin of the 20th Judicial District in Boulder, to prepare for trial on the original charges, including one case that was to be dismissed in the plea agreement. Appel ordered Willburn to be held on separate $100,000 cash-only bonds in three cases, 15CR26, 15CR55 and 15CR66 (the reinstated case). Martin was assigned the Willburn cases as a special prosecutor due to a shortage of deputy district attorneys in the Third Judicial District. As a matter of consistency in the prosecution of the various cases, Martin will remain in place as the special prosecutor assigned to represent the Third Judicial District Attorney. Willburn remains in custody of the Pueblo County Jail at this time. The reinstated case involves charges of intimidation of a witness (a class 4 felony) and three counts of attempted violation of protection orders (all class 2 misdemeanors). Prosecutor Martin said he expects at least two additional cases charging both felony and misdemeanor counts will be filed against Willburn in the future. Those pending charges, under the original plea agreement, would not have been filed by the district attorney’s office. Judge Appel set a status conference for 2 pm March 25. This hearing could see arraignment on the new charges and a possible disposition on the other two cases. Kinniry waived speedy trial in case 15CR26 and the state’s speedy trial statutes began Tuesday in cases 15CR55 and 15CR66. Trial dates in all three cases were set at the hearing this week, May 2, 2016 for cases CR26 and CR66, and July 19, 2016 for CR55. Information was not available at press time regarding 10th Judicial District Court charges against Willburn in regard to the bank robbery allegation.