Trial Begins For Pair Accused Of Breaking Into Evacuated Homes

Belinda Wells-Yates and Shane Garrett

A trial begins Monday for two people accused of breaking into evacuated homes during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Monday started jury selection for the trial of Belinda Wells-Yates and Shane Garrett. The two will be tried together.

An undercover agent testified at a hearing in August that Wells-Yates called him on June 26 and told him she was going to be "hitting houses" in the Rockrimmon area. The agent said he knew the suspect prior to her arrest because of his work on a case involving identification documents.

The agent testified that he got Wells-Yates and Garrett to meet him at the Sundance Hotel in Monument under the pretense of selling some of items they stole from evacuated homes. The pair was allegedly in possession of stolen checkbooks, guitars, and electronics.

The suspects allegedly told the agent that they crawled through a dog door to break into the houses without setting off an alarm.

The trial for both suspects is expected to take about two weeks. If convicted, both could be facing hefty punishments; the district attorney has said they he will prosecute those involved with Waldo Canyon Fire-related burglaries to the fullest extent of the law.