Zhane Ware, 19, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, a class three felony, in Delta District Court Monday. As part of a plea agreement, Ware will be sentenced to a youth offender program, described as a type of "boot camp" for offenders between the ages of 18 and 21. Located in Cañon City, the camp is intended for young men who do not have extensive criminal histories, although they have been convicted of a "generally significant" crime.
The terms of the sentence will be determined by Judge Steven Schultz after he has had an opportunity to review a pre-sentence report that is being prepared by the probation department. Sentencing is set for July 18.
Ware was arrested just hours after an armed robbery at the Western Convenience Store at 1502 Howard Street, on the south end of Delta, in November 2015.
A number of other charges were dismissed, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor who was with Ware at the time of the robbery. According to the arrest affidavit, Ware kept a Ruger pointed at the convenience store clerk while the teen held a backpack open for the money. When they saw a vehicle pull into the station, they took the money and ran.
Ware was reportedly desperate for funds to replace money he'd stolen from the car of an acquaintance. The victim threatened to call the police if the money wasn't returned, so Ware decided to rob the store to get the $108 he needed to pay off that individual.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.