Fugitive ‘boarder tracked down
Post Independent Staff
Michael Wolff, the fugitive convicted on several charges after crashing his snowboard into three girls at Sunlight Mountain Resort while drunk, was arrested in Pennsylvania and now faces up to 18 years in prison for violating his probation.
Wolff, 21, of Killeen, Texas, has been missing since January. He was found April 10 at Chambersburg Hospital in Chambersburg, Pa., and arrested on a nationwide warrant. The warrant was issued by 9th District Judge T. Peter Craven on Feb. 18 after Wolff violated his probation.
As a result of the probation violation, Wolff can be resentenced for each of the crimes to which he pled guilty ” which could add up to 18 years.
A court clerk in Chambersburg said Wolff was assaulted and taken to the local hospital for his injuries, where he reportedly was uncooperative and gave hospital administrators false names.
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Hospital staff called Chambersburg police, who discovered Wolff was wanted on the felony warrant in Colorado.
Once he was treated for his injuries, police booked Wolff into the Franklin County, Pa., jail.
He was arraigned later that day as a fugitive from justice and the judge set a bond of $50,000.
Wolff signed a waiver of extradition on Sunday, which means he won’t fight Colorado’s efforts to bring him back to the state. He should be back in the state in about two weeks, 9th Judicial District chief deputy district attorney Gretchen Larson said Tuesday.
“With charges of this magnitude, we would extradite him from anywhere in the United States,” Larson said.
The bond set by Craven was $2,500, but the Chambersburg court clerk said it’s that district’s policy to raise a prisoner’s bond when they’re considered a fugitive from justice.
Wolff pleaded guilty last summer to one count of felony negligent child abuse causing serious injury, misdemeanor child abuse causing injury and three counts of reckless endangerment for the snowboard crash.
The crash, in which three children ages 5-7 were injured, happened March 15, 2003, at Sunlight Mountain Resort. One of the girls, Reilly Malone of Lawrence, Kan., suffered a broken arm.
Wolff was sentenced by 9th District Judge James Boyd in August to an in-patient alcohol treatment program, three years of probation and 240 days in Garfield County Jail. He served 152 days in jail prior to the sentencing and Boyd suspended the last 88 days of jail time so Wolff could enter an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Wolff violated his probation by being unfavorably discharged from the rehab program for “deceptive behavior, a poor attitude and intimidating other residents” on Jan. 6, Larson said.
He was considered a fugitive after he missed three meetings with his probation officer and failed to give his correct address, Larson said.
Meanwhile, in a civil case filed by the Malone family against Wolff, a federal magistrate in Denver entered a default judgment of $100,000 against Wolff on Feb. 25 after Wolff missed court hearings related to the lawsuit.
The money awarded would cover $16,000 in medical bills, pain and suffering and punitive damages.
Denver attorney Jim Chalat, the lawyer who represented the Malones in their lawsuit, commented Tuesday on Wolff’s latest legal troubles.
“Frankly, this is becoming a bigger tragedy for him than for Reilly,” he said.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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