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Superior fight results in felony battery charge

Three participants in an early morning fight in Superior told slightly different stories on the stand Wednesday in Douglas County Circuit Court, but in the end the fourth participant, Joseph Thomas Saari, was bound over for arraignment on felony ...

Three participants in an early morning fight in Superior told slightly different stories on the stand Wednesday in Douglas County Circuit Court, but in the end the fourth participant, Joseph Thomas Saari, was bound over for arraignment on felony charges of mayhem and substantial battery.

Saari's defense attorney, Lance Nelsen, characterized the incident in the early hours of Oct. 4 as "a drunken scuffle" after a night of bar-hopping.

"Disorderly conducts are probably warranted all around," he said, but not felony charges.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Thimm, however, said the testimony provided probable cause to believe a felony was committed.

Saari is accused of attacking his fiancee's brother, Brandon Crowser, and attempting to gouge out his eye after Crowser tried to get Saari to stop pushing his sister, Alison.

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The three had been out drinking that night at a number of bars, picking up a friend of Crowser's, Jesse Robertson, along the way.

The incident started at Crowser's Superior residence with a fight between Saari and Crowser's sister over clothes Saari needed for work later that day.

Crowser received a cut above the eye that required stitches and an abrasion on the eyeball itself.

Saari remains in the Douglas County Jail. Cash bail for the case was set at $10,000.

Teen gets one year probation for role in friend's beating

A Superior teen who drove her friend to Wisconsin Point to be beaten up by a trio of girls will spend the next year on probation.

Ashley Marie Asbury, 17, pleaded no contest to one amended charge of being a party to the crime of misdemeanor battery last week in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Judge Michael Lucci sentenced her to one year of probation, four days in jail and $200 in restitution plus a $50 fine and court costs, and ordered her to write an apology essay.

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If she successfully completes probation, the conviction will be erased from her record. If she does not follow the conditions, Asbury faces a 60-day jail sentence.

The 17-year-old female victim was at a friend's house when a 14-year-old girl and her friend came to the door, invited her out to talk to a third girl, then "verbally forced" her into a car being driven by Asbury, according to the criminal complaint.

Before that point, Asbury told police, she thought the younger girls were just going to pick up some clothes. But the 14-year-old told Asbury to drive to Wisconsin Point. Even though she knew they were going to beat up the victim, Asbury told police, she drove the car full of girls there. After the beating, she drove the victim back to Superior.

The victim suffered a broken tooth and bruising and swelling. "I don't know what was going through her head, but I know she knew right from wrong and she should have been thinking clearly," the victim wrote in a statement to the court. "She obviously was not.

"She just hurt my feelings as a friend," the girl wrote.

The other girls involved are juveniles. Court cases regarding juveniles are not public record.

Woman accused of stealing from library is back in court

A South Range woman accused of stealing $15,000 from the Superior Public Library has made her third appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court.

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During a status conference last week, Judge Michael Lucci scheduled Nancy Catherine Roulston, 51, for another hearing in December.

Roulston initially was charged with felony theft and misconduct in public office in May. After waiving a preliminary hearing, the former library employee requested a substitute judge four days before her scheduled arraignment in front of Judge George Glonek. An arraignment is a hearing at which the person accused must enter a plea. After reviewing the request, Glonek approved the substitution and the case was assigned to Lucci.

The South Range woman was arrested May 23, after a nearly two-month investigation by the Superior Police Department. It was launched after a surprise visit to the library by the city's Finance Department. The visit was triggered by cash deposits in 2007 that were significantly lower than previous years. Roulston was the only person at the library with regular access to the money, according to the criminal complaint.

During the visit, according to the criminal complaint, Roulston first indicated that she had not deposited all the cash revenue from 2007. When asked to bring that money out, she brought out checks marked 2008. Then she told City Finance Director Jean Vito, "OK, I did it! I took the money," the complaint said.

The missing funds totaled $15,317.88, according to an independent report. Roulston remains free on a $15,000 signature bond.

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