Lincoln has first day in court
Post Independent Staff
A stabbing and shooting suspect yawned in court Monday as he was advised he faced felony charges that could lead to consecutive sentences effectively amounting to as much as life in prison.
Judge Peter Craven set bond for Samuel Lincoln at $250,000 in connection with a stabbing and burglary case in Glenwood Springs Nov. 30, 2004.
Lincoln, 24, faces attempted murder charges in two counties. He was wanted out of Mesa County for the Nov. 23 shooting of James Finnegan north of Grand Junction, and was arrested Sunday night at the Budget Host motel in West Glenwood, just down Highway 6 from where last year’s stabbing and burglary occurred.
Also Monday, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department reported that the woman Lincoln was with Sunday, Shannon Michele Wandell, 24, was being held in Mesa County Jail in connection with allegedly aiding and abetting a fugitive.
Lincoln appeared in court in Garfield County Monday after jail deputies cleared the courtroom of several other Garfield County Jail inmates who had been advised of more minor charges.
Appearing in striped prison garb, and with close-cropped hair, Lincoln sat slump-shouldered and mostly stared toward the floor impassively while Craven reviewed a long list of charges against him. Lincoln said next to nothing during his court appearance. But he generally was respectful, referring to Craven as “your honor” at one point, and he answered with a simple “no” when Craven asked him if he had anything he wanted to say about his bond. Lincoln reportedly had been uncooperative with jail staff when they tried to take his mug shot.
Last year, police say, Lincoln and two other men allegedly forced their way into a home in the Fireside Trailer Court behind the Oasis Restaurant in West Glenwood. The men allegedly stabbed one occupant five times and held several people there at gunpoint while they stole money and other valuables.
The four most serious local charges against Lincoln include attempted second-degree attempted murder, aggravated robbery, first-degree burglary and first-degree assault. Each carries a sentencing range of 10 to 32 years in state prison, but if Lincoln is convicted of more than one of them the sentences must be served consecutively rather than concurrently.
Assistant District Attorney Vince Felletter said it’s also possible Lincoln may be charged with multiple counts of some of the above charges because there were five victims in the stabbing and burglary case.
“He’s looking at some serious consequences” if convicted, Felletter said.
Craven also issued a restraining order Monday barring Lincoln from having contact with the victims in the case.
Lincoln also faces several lesser charges in connection with the case, including menacing with a deadly weapon, theft of more than $500, false imprisonment, criminal trespass of a dwelling and criminal mischief.
In addition, he could be advised as early as today of first-degree murder charges and robbery and burglary charges out of Mesa County. His arrest warrant there calls for bond amounts totaling $1.15 million. Charles Pruitt, Lincoln’s alleged accomplice in the Finnegan shooting, turned himself in Dec. 5 and is in Mesa County Jail. Finnegan survived being shot six times.
Felletter and Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson said district attorney offices in both counties would be working with each other so Lincoln could be prosecuted for both crimes. That will be made easier because the counties are next to each other and he can be transported between them as needed, they said.
Lincoln was arrested Sunday as he went out the back of the motel. He was armed with two handguns and was shot by police with at least three bean-bag-like projectiles after refusing commands to show his hands and get on the ground, Wilson said. In court Monday, Lincoln did not appear to have suffered any noticeable wounds from the shooting.
Police also found two rifles and a shotgun in Lincoln’s room Sunday, Wilson said.
Wandell, reportedly Lincoln’s girlfriend, had gone to the front of the motel at the time Lincoln was apprehended. Police had called the room the two were in and asked her to go to the front desk, hoping to separate her from Lincoln so she couldn’t be made a hostage.
Mesa County sheriff spokeswoman Susan McBurney said Wandell now faces four felony charges of being an accessory to a crime, and is being held in lieu of $7,500 bond.
McBurney said the charges stem from her involvement after the fact in the Finnegan shooting, for aiding and abetting one or both of the suspects while they were at large.
Mesa County deputies arrested Wandell in Glenwood Springs Sunday evening, a few hours after Lincoln’s arrest.
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