Former San Juan River guide, Jude Duran, 30, of Flora Vista NM has been sentenced to a four year prison term for robbing a Montrose, Colorado bank last May.
“Bank robbers should fully expect to rethink their lives from a prison cell,” U.S. Attorney Troy Eid in a news release .
Duran was looking at up to 20-years in prison when he went before U.S.District Court Judge John L. Kane for sentencing on January 9, 2009 in Denver.
But Duran’s lack of a criminal record, his remorsefulness and an underlying mental health problem apparently prompted the judge to grant leniency to the well known, fly fishing guide.
“He was in extreme anguish over this situation, he was sobbing and in tears,” said Bob Pepin, Duran’s Federal Public Defender, of his client’s appearance before the judge.
“He embraced his responsibility and apologized to the victims and his family and friends.”
A lone teller from the bank spoke before the judge and explained how difficult it was for employees to have suffered through the terrifying armed robbery.
“He (Duran) was relieved to be able to look the teller in the face and say how sorry he was,” Pepin said.
Duran explained to the judge how he struggles with the symptoms of his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but didn’t blame the condition for his actions.
“He wanted people to understand but didn’t want to use it as an excuse,” Pepin said.
Pepin declined to comment further about Duran’s mental health issues but suggested an “open letter” Duran had previously posted on his website provided explanation enough.
See a copy of the letter here .
Pepin said numerous friends and former clients from all walks of life wrote to the judge on Duran’s behalf.
Most stated how stunned and perplexed his actions as most knew him to be a kind, gentle, man.
For details of the robbery see related article
Duran told the judge he was now primarily concerned about the health of his wife Donna, whose health is deteriorating from Mutliple Sclerosis, Pepin said.
“He’s a decent man who made a terrible mistake,” the defense attorney said. “And now he’s paying for it in aces.”
Federal prisoners must serve 85-percent of their sentence before being considered for release. In addition Duran will also have to serve three years under “supervision” when he returns to society, Pepin said.
Those interested in contacting Duran can use the federal inmate locator at www.bop.gov to find out where he or any other federal inmate is being held.
For more information about the Duran case use the search bar in the upper left hand corner to find all related articles.
Letter to the editor:
Karl, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the professional article on the Jude Duran sentence.
I have been flytying and flyfishing for 30 years now and consider myself above average. I almost never fish with a guide.
But when I travel to the San Juan with my buddies, we almost always fished one day with Jude as a guide.
As far as I was concerned, he was probably the hardest working and nicest guide I have ever met.
And every time I fished with him, I learned something new and became a better fishermen.
It was almost like I was fishing with a friend.
He was also one of the few guides that would give up info as to what flies were working to anyone he met.
I do not condone what Jude did. It baffles me as to why he robbed a bank.
A Navy Commander that I work with has a wife with MS. He told me that it is
a financially draining disease. I am not sure if that played a part in what Jude did.
I also think that sometimes you never really know the true identity of someone and maybe he had an underlying dark side.
I wish that wasn’t the case.
But again, thank you for telling the story without a bias one way or another…
Robert D Kirkwood
Lexington Park, MD.