AZTEC — A man facing a lengthy prison sentence because of his criminal history denied his past convictions and was not sentenced as scheduled Tuesday afternoon.
Eric Bernard, 32, was convicted of four fourth-degree felonies for possession of stolen property after a trial in August.
Bernard and two co-defendants were accused of breaking into a family's home near Lemon Reservoir in Colorado when the family was in the hospital after their home exploded.
Bernard was convicted in a San Juan County district court for possession of stolen vehicles in the county. After he serves his sentence, he will be extradited to Colorado to face criminal charges for the alleged thefts.
Bernard was convicted of four felony burglary charges in 2000, a felony for possession of a controlled substance in 2005 and a felony burglary charge in 2008, according to a state court website. Because of those convictions, he could face an eight to 38 year prison sentence, Chief Deputy San Juan County District Attorney Brent Capshaw said.
Cosme Ripol, Bernard's attorney, said his client is not admitting to those prior convictions.
District Judge William Birdsall said he will schedule a hearing for prosecutors to prove those convictions.Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.