Drunken ‘boarder pleads guilty
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Snowboarder Michael Wolff pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he crashed into a group of young ski school students at Sunlight Mountain Resort March 15, injuring three.
Wolff, 20, of Killeen, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of felony negligent child abuse causing serious injury, one count of misdemeanor child abuse causing injury and three counts of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.
Ninth District Judge James Boyd set Wolff’s sentencing hearing for Aug. 14.
It’s conceivable that Wolff could receive up to 18 years in prison and face more than $500,000 in fines if Boyd finds extreme aggravating circumstances.
However, as part of the plea agreement, the 9th District Attorney’s office agreed to recommend probation rather than jail time on the felony child abuse count. The final decision is up to Judge Boyd.
There is no such agreement on the other four counts, so jail time could be recommended on the misdemeanor counts.
“Your honor, I believe I was negligent that day,” Wolff told Boyd. “I’d just like to apologize for my actions. I shouldn’t have put those people in danger.”
Wolff was arrested at the ski resort after slamming into a group of 5- and 6-year-olds in a ski class at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Witnesses said he was visibly drunk.
Three children were hurt in the crash. One suffered a broken leg, one suffered a bruised arm and the third had minor injuries.
Wolff has been held at the Garfield County Jail on $15,000 bond since the crash, where he remains.
Once the criminal proceedings are over, Wolff still faces a civil lawsuit filed on April 8 by the family of Reilly Malone, the child who suffered a broken leg from the crash.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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