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Burglar is facing 4-plus years in jail

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Courts > Craven went into same house many times

By Tris DeRoma

Los Alamos resident John Craven, who was convicted of robbing his neighbor nine times last year, was recently in court for a probation violation. At issue was whether or not Craven should be released from jail until a hearing is held determining his guilt or innocence June 10.
According to Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist, the reason why Craven was reincarcerated in the first place was that he allegedly lied about his community service hours, telling probation authorities he performed services when he really didn’t.
As a result of the violation, he could end up serving the full sentence for his crimes, which is nearly 4 years, 8 months in jail.
The final time Craven burglarized the Ragsdales was Jan. 14, 2014. The attempt was foiled, however, when the Ragsdales came home early after a night out to find Craven in their house going through their valuables.
According to court documents Mike Ragsdale had a gun with him at the time. Craven was found behind a bathroom door, but instead of shooting Craven, Ragsdale escorted Craven out of his house and then called police.
Craven was sentenced for the burglaries, getting three-years’ supervised probation and treatment for drug addiction, as well as community service, according to a sentence handed out by then District Judge Sheri Raphaelson.
During the most recent arguments for Craven’s release, Wahlquist said that Craven should remain in jail until his June 10 hearing date, because of Craven’s alleged willful violation of his probation.
“He did enter a plea of guilty to third-degree residential burglary and larceny. He was given the chance to do (drug) treatment, he was on electronic monitoring at the time and still ignored the court’s orders. He was turned in for lying to drug court personnel about completing community service hours,” Wahlquist said.
Craven’s defense attorney, Tyr Loranger, reminded the judge that Craven’s plea agreement charged him with far less than the nine burglaries he was originally accused of.
He also entered a denial on behalf of Craven, saying he did not violate the terms of his probation.
“I don’t think it’s proper that the court consider the initial charges, since it’s not a matter of court record,” Loranger told the judge, District Court Judge Jennifer Attrep. He also said that if Craven did misrepresent how many hours of community service he did, Loranger did not think it was a “blatant” disregard of the rules of probation, so Craven should be given leniency.
He noted that Craven has an apartment in Santa Fe, where he’s currently residing.
He also asked the court that since Craven lost his job since being locked up for the violation, he be given a “reasonable amount of time” to find another job.
“Mr. Craven is also supporting an (ex) wife and two children who live in Denver, Colorado,” he said to the judge. “Their child support could be jeopardized, your honor.”
Cathe Ragsdale, spoke against Craven’s release, saying Craven had accumulated numerous traffic and other violations before, as well as after his conviction, a further demonstration to them that he hasn’t learned his lesson.
They were also afraid that he might return to their neighborhood in Los Alamos, since Craven’s parents still live across the street from the Ragsdales on Todd Loop.
“It’s extremely distressing to us to have to face the prospect of Craven, a 33-year-old, unemployed adult, once again living across the street from us in his parent’s house,” she said. “If he is released on bond, this will create a menacing atmosphere. Not only for us, but for others in the neighborhood who have expressed their concern to us about having a thief living in the neighborhood. Every time we see him, it’s a horrific reminder of the times when he violated us and our home.”
They also feared retribution from Craven.
“There is literally nothing from stopping him from stepping foot on our property again,” Cathe said.
Judge Attrep, pending approval from authorities in Santa Fe, sentenced Craven to house arrest and electronic monitoring in Santa Fe pending his June 10 appearance.
Attrep also assigned a $10,000 bond, $5,000 for each charge he was sentenced for.
However, according to district court officials, Craven is still in custody.