Olivares makes initial appearance

EVANSTON — The man responsible for a massive law enforcement response in Evanston last week made his initial appearance in circuit court on the afternoon of Friday, June 29, in a rather unconventional fashion.

Jonathan Olivares, 25, was apprised of the seven charges against him, along with the penalties each count carries, via telephone conference. Neither Olivares, himself, nor the presiding judge were physically present in the courtroom, with Olivares responding via telephone from the Uinta County Detention Center and Judge James Radda, of the Teton County Circuit Court, speaking via telephone from Teton County. 

Evanston Circuit Court Judge Michael Greer recused himself from the case. 

Judge Radda explained the seven counts filed against Olivares stemming from a June 26 incident in which Olivares allegedly assaulted a detention officer, stole her firearm, stole a car at gunpoint outside the county complex, and led local law enforcement on a brief manhunt before being apprehended. 

The charges include interfering with a peace officer by intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury, interfering with a peace officer by intentionally and knowingly disarming her of her firearm, escaping from official detention by assault upon a person, aggravated robbery, felony theft of a vehicle, misdemeanor theft of a firearm and aggravated assault and battery. 

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 70 years and 6 months of incarceration, as well as approximately $60,000 in fines. 

Uinta County Deputy Attorney Amanda Kirby requested bail be set at $500,000 cash only, based on the nature and circumstances of the charges. Kirby said many of the charges are violent crimes, Olivares has a long history of criminal charges and drug abuse and there are multiple witnesses to the events in question. She also argued there was a high risk Olivares would flee given the seriousness of the crimes and the potential penalties and that if Olivares were to make bail, he would present an extremely high risk to the community. 

It was also pointed out Olivares still has pending charges related to delivery of heroin and concealing stolen property. He had just appeared in 3rd District Court related to those charges and was being led from the courtroom when the assault and escape occurred. 

Radda agreed that cash-only bail at $500,000 was appropriate. 

After determining Olivares lacked the resources to hire an attorney, Radda ordered that a public defender be appointed. 

A preliminary hearing in the case was set for 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 6, in circuit court.

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