Carmichael sentencing set for Thursday
May 17, 2016
A significant legal case will come to a close this Thursday in Grand County as Elizabeth Carmichael appears before District Court Judge Mary Hoak for a scheduled sentencing hearing at 1 p.m. in the Grand County Courthouse.
Earlier this year in February Carmichael pleaded guilty to charges of an amended count of "criminal attempt to commit theft". The guilty plea came as part of a plea agreement worked out between Carmichael's counsel and representatives of the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office. Carmichael signed the plea on Feb. 18.
Under the terms of the plea agreement signed earlier this year Carmichael will be required to perform 400 hours of community service and undergo five-years of supervised probation. She will be required to pay $60,000 of restitution within the first 24 months of probation and will be required to pay an additional $60,000 in restitution over the following three years of probation. Carmichael will also be required to write a letter of apology to the victims in the case, previous owners of Bear Mountain Ranch John and Anne Draper.
Carmichael initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against her during court proceedings held in late September last year. After her not guilty plea in 2015 her case was scheduled to go to a jury trial in March. However, the planned trial was vacated after Carmichael signed the plea agreement in February.
At the time Carmichael signed her plea agreement she stood accused of stealing more than $451,000 from Bear Mountain Ranch, located in western Grand County, while she worked as an employee for the Ranch from 2009 to 2012; serving as a bookkeeper and manager for the Bear Mountain Ranch while she was also involved in a related business called Bear Mountain Bison. She was fired from her position with the Ranch in 2012 after the Drapers became suspicious she had stolen from them, according to affidavits related to the case.
An arrest warrant for Carmichael was issued on January 7, 2015. She turned herself into Colorado authorities on January 17, shortly after her arrest warrant was issued. At the time she turned herself in Carmichael was living in Texas. She was released from custody after posting a $20,000 bond and was allowed to return home. Court documents indicate Carmichael needs to travel to the southwestern US and the East Coast for her job.