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Pagosan convicted of assault, faces lengthy sentence

A Pagosa Springs man could face up to 82 years in prison after being found guilty of three felony counts in a four-day jury trial last week.

Jason Snow, 24, was found guilty of first-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury and tampering with physical evidence. He was found not guilty of attempted second-degree murder.

The charges stemmed from an incident that took place on Aug. 23, 2009, that began as a verbal altercation and ended in a traffic incident, an attempted assault with a motor vehicle and serious injuries to another Pagosa Springs resident, Charles “Jacob” Bilazzo, 21.

As reported in a previous SUN article, according to a report from the Colorado State Patrol, a one-vehicle rollover crash occurred at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Trails Boulevard, just north of U.S. 160.

Members of the CSP and Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department (as well as EMS and Pagosa Fire Protection District personnel) responded to the scene and an investigation revealed the crash followed an altercation between individuals in two vehicles.

According to unnamed witnesses, Bilazzo was involved in a verbal altercation with a second party (Snow, who was unidentified at the time) in the area of the Trails Clubhouse, in the Trails Subdivision. Both Bilazzo and the other person then left the scene in separate vehicles, traveling at high rates of speed through the Trails subdivision.

Shortly thereafter, Bilazzo’s 1975 GMC Jimmy traveled off, or was forced off, Trails Boulevard. Bilazzo’s vehicle then came back on to Trails, where it rolled two times, ejecting Bilazzo into the roadway.

According to an unnamed witness, Snow then attempted to run over the injured Bilazzo, who was able to roll away before being hit. Snow left the scene in his vehicle.

Bilazzo sustained serious injuries in the crash, was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Durango, and later airlifted to a Denver area hospital.

An investigation by the CSP and the sheriff’s office resulted in charges filed against Snow on Oct. 27.

Following last week’s verdict, Snow will now face a half-day court trial on June 28 to determine if he is an habitual criminal, said Deputy District Attorney Alex Lowe. The status will help to determine the length of his sentence.

Lowe said it is believed that Snow has three prior felony convictions.

“If he’s found to be an habitual criminal, he’s facing a minimum of 64 years in prison and it could be up to 82,” Lowe said.

If not found to be an habitual criminal, Snow could face from 10 to 36.5 years in prison, Lowe said.

randi@pagosasun.com