Dance pleads guilty in armed standoff case |

Dance pleads guilty in armed standoff case

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Craig Dance

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Craig Dance, accused of trying to kill a Garfield County Sheriff’s deputy in late 2011, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge on Thursday in Ninth Judicial District Court.

According to court documents, Dance pleaded guilty to a single charge of attempted first degree assault with “extreme indifference,” a felony.

Dance’s trial, on charges of attempted first-degree murder, assault and others, scheduled to begin on April 18, was vacated on Thursday by District Judge James Boyd.

Dance is to be sentenced on June 5.

Dance, 62, was arrested on Dec. 12, 2011, after an armed standoff with police in the Westbank subdivision south of town.

He allegedly had opened fire on Deputy Gregory Choinkowski, who knocked on Dance’s door in the afternoon during a welfare check prompted by a disturbing call Dance had placed to a neighbor.

Choinkowski had taken shelter behind his cruiser after Dance appeared and pointed a gun at the deputy, and Dance allegedly opened fire on the car moments afterward.

After barricading himself in his home for nearly three hours, Dance surrendered to members of the county’s crisis negotiation team and was taken away in a sheriff’s patrol car.

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