Couple gets bench warrants
The jailhouse romance between former Gunnison County Sheriff’s Deputy Tawnya Sponable and former county jail inmate Joseph Stromayer blossomed into matrimony late this year. Now it appears the two are starting their life together on the lam.
Stromayer was scheduled to appear in district court for an arraignment December 2 but failed to show, abandoning $50,000 in bond money and earning himself a bench warrant that will come with a $100,000 bond in cash or assurity.
And Sponable is likely standing by her man, wherever he is. Like her husband, the former jailer failed to show up to enter a plea at her most recent scheduled court appointment on Tuesday, December 8. She has also not named the lawyer who will represent her in court.
The charges stem from a 10-month Colorado Bureau of Investigation look at the Gunnison County Jail that uncovered a lurid scene of sex, drugs and official misconduct at the detention facility.
All five of the cases resulting from the CBI investigation have been moved from Gunnison County Court to 7th Judicial District Court, due to the nature of the crimes committed.
Sponable was arrested this fall on charges of conspiracy to commit perjury, first-degree official misconduct, conspiracy to introduce contraband, as well as false reporting, theft under $500 and possession of a schedule II controlled substance, according to the CBI.
With her failure to appear in court, Sponable forfeited a $20,000 bond and got a bench warrant for her arrest, which will come along with a $40,000 bond.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Melissa Rogers was placed on administrative leave after she was brought up on charges of first-degree perjury, conspiracy to commit perjury, first-degree official misconduct and false reporting to authorities in September. She hasn’t been to court since November 12, when she attended an arraignment in Gunnison County Court. She will return to District Court December 10 to enter a plea.
Joseph Stromayer’s estranged wife, Rachel, was charged with conspiracy to intimidate a witness after the CBI completed its investigation into impropriety at the jail in September. She will also appear in District Court December 10 to enter a plea.
Sheriff’s Captain Michele Zadra, who has been with the department nearly 20 years, was also charged September 2 with first-degree perjury, conspiracy to commit perjury, first-degree official misconduct and false reporting to authorities, and is the only one of the five defendants connected to the jail who has entered a plea of not guilty. She is scheduled to start a four-day jury trial in District Court on Monday, February 22.