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Snowboarders expected to accept plea deal in criminal avalanche case

The two snowboarders are expected to receive community service when they formally take their plea deal.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Evan Hannibal and Tyler DeWitt, the men who triggered an avalanche near the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels last year, are expected to accept a plea agreement next month, according to their defense attorney Jason Flores-Williams.

On March 25, 2020, DeWitt and Hannibal were backcountry snowboarding when they triggered an avalanche that damaged a remote avalanche control unit and buried the Loop Road above the tunnels 20 feet deep in debris. Both men were charged with a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment for the incident.

> Watch the video above for a previous 9NEWS story on avalanche safety. 

RELATED: Summit County judge declares mistrial in criminal avalanche case

RELATED: Colorado Attorney General warns of 'chilling effect' if avalanche forecasters testify in trial

On Tuesday, May 18, Flores-Williams told the Summit Daily News that he expects his clients to accept a plea agreement in the case, in which the men would plead guilty to reckless endangerment as charged but would not be required to pay any restitution. While the agreement hasn’t yet been accepted — Hannibal and DeWitt are expected to make their decision one way or another in court June 7 — both Flores-Williams and 5th Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum said they felt it would represent a fair outcome for the case.

“Ultimately, we did get back to a reasonable place, and that’s where we should have been the entire time,” Flores-Williams said. “And when you reach a reasonable place, everybody is to be applauded.” 

>> Read more at the Summit Daily.

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