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“That’s extraordinary,” 7-time convicted felon escapes felony conviction three times before arrest

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado Springs Police recently arrested 48-year-old Aaron Miller on multiple felony crimes, including assault with a deadly weapon and theft of an at-risk person.

13 Investigates has learned Miller is a seven-time convicted felon with multiple convictions for escaping from a felony conviction, which is a class-three felony.

Miller was arrested on January 16 after an hours-long stand-off with CSPD at the intersection of Walnut St. and Buena Ventura St. Police say Miller refused to exit an RV while being a wanted man before surrendering after they released munitions into the RV, police say.

Miller's convictions via Colorado Department of Corrections

Miller's convictions span 23 years with his first conviction in 2000. In total, Miller has been sentenced to more than 31 years in prison on his seven felony convictions. However, he was released early multiple times.

Each time he was released he was charged with "escaping felony conviction," a charge synonymous with walking away from a community corrections site after being released early.

Miller was convicted of this charge three separate times in 2010, 2013, and 2018. It's a record criminal defense attorney Jeremy Loew calls "extraordinary."

"It's really uncommon. The Department of Corrections doesn't have to parole somebody to COMCOR and doesn't have to put them into community release. If they've seen that an individual has violated community release one time by picking up an escape, it just wouldn't make sense for them to continue to more times to release them back into the community when they know they have escaped," Loew said.

Both COMCOR and CAE are re-entry services often times provided by the Department of Corrections. However, sometimes the offender has to pay for their bed after their release.

13 Investigates attempted to reach the Colorado Department of Corrections for more information on Miller and his release. We are awaiting their response.

"What likely happened here was this individual was sentenced to prison and then he was then sentenced to community release," Loew said. "These individuals are living in the community at essentially old hotels that have been purchased by COMCOR or CAE."

Loew said a potential reason why Miller was released to Community Corrections multiple times is financial.

"It could be because it's cheaper for the state to have somebody at community corrections. People at community corrections often times have to pay for their bed there as opposed to the $50,000 a year it costs to house an inmate at the Department of Corrections."

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez issued a statement regarding his thoughts on people released multiple times back into the community:

"There is significant research that shows a relatively small percentage of the population is responsible for a large percentage of the crime. When someone who has already been convicted of criminal acts and sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections, they can be released early on parole before completing their sentence. The mission of the parole board is to increase public safety by evaluating an individual’s potential for successful reintegration to the community through the use of innovative evidence informed practices. When someone is on parole and is charged with committing additional crimes, we believe that is evidence that the person has no successfully reintegrated into the community so releasing them again results in unnecessary additional victims within our community."

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez

13 Investigates has requested interviews with all members of Colorado's Parole Board and Governor Jared Polis, who appoints those members. All have repeatedly declined interviews with us.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.

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