By John Colson
Sopris Sun Staff
Nicholas Ameral, who pleaded guilty to robbery charges related to an armed stick-up at the Cowen Center convenience store in north Carbondale earlier this year, was sentenced on July 25 to six years in prison followed by five years of mandatory parole.
According to Deputy District Attorney Zachary Parsons, Ameral might have faced up to 32 years in prison had he gone to trial on multiple counts of armed robbery and other charges.
Ameral, 19, and his cousin, Benjamin Weeks, also 19, were arrested last February and charged with robbing the convenience store at gunpoint, after the two led police on a two-day chase through the backcountry near Basalt.
Weeks, who had been living in California before coming to Carbondale to visit Ameral and his mother, has pleaded not-guilty to the convenience store charges and is awaiting trial on multiple counts of armed robbery, menacing with a deadly weapon and use of a firearm during commission of a felony, which could land him in prison for up to 64 years if convicted.
He is scheduled to go to trial in Glenwood Springs in January 2018.
Weeks also is wanted by authorities in Clarke County, Nev., home of the Las Vegas gambling town, on charges of robbery, burglary and first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 27-year-old Las Vegas woman found in her apartment last January.
He has elected to fight extradition to Nevada, according to the DA’s office, which means the governors of the two states will be involved in subsequent legal proceedings.