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Mountain News: Robber tries Robin Hood defense



Robber tries Robin Hood defense

JACKSON, Wyo. — Credit Corey Allan Donaldson with creativity. When he robbed a bank in Jackson on New Year's Eve of $140,000, he told the manager that members of a Mexican cartel were outside the building, prepared to blow it up if he didn't get the money.

On the lam, he used the improbable name of Dooby Zonks while staying in $270-per-night rooms at the Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City. He also gave $16,000 to a friend who was in a pinch and, when arrested by police in Clinton, Utah, had envelopes of cash for his mother and sister.

The Jackson Hole News&Guide reports that Donaldson tried using a Robin Hood defense. A 40-year-old self-help author and online entrepreneur, he told jurors of his childhood in Melbourne, Australia, and the experience of watching his father lose the family's home to foreclosure.

"I came up with the idea of that since the banks had been bailed out and the people had not, I was going to confiscate money from the US Bank in Jackson and redistribute it to the poor and homeless in America," he said.

But the judge wouldn't allow this line of argument. However, he did allow the testimony of the bank manager, who said he never doubted Donald's claims about explosives until after police arrived and searched the area.

"You feel like you've got to make peace with your maker," said the bank manager. The newspaper says the bank manager looked shaken as he left the witness stand.

A jury convicted Donaldson and he is to be sentenced July 11 in U.S. District Court.

Season pass prices slashed, finally

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — Crested Butte has finally joined the club. Like most of the ski resorts in the West, it has now slashed the price of its season ski pass, hoping to make up the difference in quantity.

Last winter's pass that cost $1,049 next winter will cost $599.

With this new vehicle, Crested Butte hopes to better draw skiers from Colorado's Front Range. There, the skiing throngs have many options, most prominently the Epic Pass, which costs $689 and is good at five ski areas in Colorado, three in California, and, if you really want to go there, one each in Michigan and Minnesota.

In slashing the price, Crested Butte joins Jackson Hole and other ski resorts that finally succumbed to the wave that was launched in 1998 at Idaho's Bogus Basin. With plenty of terrain but not many skiers, the general manager at Bogus decided that less would be more: more skiers paying less for ski passes would create an overall gain. Colorado's Winter Park the next winter followed suit, and then Vail Resorts, with its quartet of ski areas along the I-70 corridor, upped the ante.