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Durango burglar chooses prison over halfway house

Chad Nolan went on trespassing spree in summer 2019

A man known to be living homeless in Durango was sentenced Friday to six years in prison after allegedly entering numerous homes, including the room of a 14-year-old girl, during summer 2019.

Chad Nolan, who was 35 at the time of his arrest, started breaking into multiple homes in June 2019. As his behavior “heated up,” authorities launched an extensive search for him.

“He had no conscience about where he was going or concern if people were there,” Durango Police Department Cmdr. Rita Warfield said at the time. “That was the scary thing about him.”

Many of the break-ins, the police department said, happened south of College Drive.

In one instance, police say Nolan broke into a vacation rental and was found by the owner of the property naked, apparently having taken a shower. In another, police say Nolan broke into a home, going into a 14-year-old girl’s room.

The police department stationed officers in different areas of downtown Durango to look for Nolan. Authorities received a report he was walking the grid in downtown Durango, and he was arrested June 27, 2019.

Sixth Judicial District Judge William Herringer on Friday offered Nolan a choice between eight years at Hilltop House, a community corrections center in Durango, or six years at the Department of Corrections.

Nolan, however, said entering a community corrections program in Durango could lead to a relapse into drug use. He asked for a community corrections program outside the area.

The District Attorney’s Office opposed going through the process of sending Nolan out of the community, arguing the case has been going on long enough and the request should have been filed previously.

“These cases have been lingering for a very long time,” Herringer agreed.

Having to decide between community corrections or prison, Nolan chose prison.

“My main concern is relapse,” Nolan said.

Speaking to the court, Nolan took responsibility for his actions and said he was not a violent person. His attorney said Nolan suffered from drug addiction.

“All I can say is I’ve made some very poor choices,” Nolan said. “I will do everything that I can to recover from this and turn a new leaf and not ever repeat these mistakes again.”

Nolan must also pay restitution, which will be determined at a later date.


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