Accused arsonist back in GarCo jail
Alleged arsonist Robin Jay Clifton is back in custody and will go before a district court judge on Tuesday, Aug. 29, for a bond hearing.Clifton, 47, of Collbran, appeared in court at a hearing on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 17, but he was not in custody. He is charged in Garfield County with starting four fires in Rifle on Sept. 5, 2005. The fires destroyed two businesses and damaged two others. Clifton was arrested in April 2006, after a seven-month long investigation by the Rifle Police Department. He bonded out of the Garfield County Jail in May.In June, Clifton and his wife, Robin Pearl Clifton, were arrested in Mesa County for felony menacing and child abuse. The charges against Robin Jay Clifton were later dismissed.Despite the fact that the charges were dismissed, the court had already revoked the original bond. A court order revoking a bond will remain in effect unless the order is rescinded, so Clifton was taken back into custody.”He’s back in jail, and a bond hearing will be held on Tuesday (Aug. 29),” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney. According to Cheney, Clifton’s bond is currently at $260,000, but Cheney is asking that it be increased to $550,000. Cheney has filed new charges in the case against Clifton, which now include first-degree arson, criminal mischief, burglary, tampering with evidence, attempted manslaughter, violation of bond conditions and being a habitual criminal.Clifton is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on the charges stemming from the Rifle arson case, at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, in district court. At that time, the district attorney’s office will present evidence and witnesses to establish probable cause in the case.Clifton may be asked to enter a plea at that time. If probable cause is found and Clifton enters a not-guilty plea, the state has 180 days to set a trial date.
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