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Man suspected of aiding jail escape pleads not guilty

Antonio Kolessar will face jury trial

Antonio Kolessar, the man suspected of aiding an escape in April at a juvenile detention center in Durango, pleaded not guilty Thursday.


Kolessar, 21, is charged with five counts of aiding escape, a Class 3 felony, and one count of vehicular eluding. If convicted, he faces four to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 followed by a mandatory parole period of five years.

A two-day jury trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 17.

According to an arrest affidavit, Kolessar cut a hole in the chain-link fence surrounding the Robert E. DeNier Youth Services Center on April 27. Five men escaped through the hole and into a gray Hyundai Sonata driven by Kolessar.

The vehicle was spotted in Pagosa Springs later that day. After a brief police chase, the group was arrested outside of South Fork, 44 miles east of Pagosa Springs.

Kolessar’s next court appearance is a motions hearing scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 16.


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