Judge William Herringer rejected a sentencing agreement Friday presented by attorneys during a hearing for a suspected rapist.
“I’m not satisfied he’s accepting responsibility,” said Herringer, a judge in the 6th Judicial District.
Bryan Bunion, 26, of Kirtland, New Mexico, had previously pleaded guilty to raping a woman in September 2013 after she lost consciousness at a party in Durango.
The prosecution and defense lawyers had agreed on a deal that would include 90 days in jail and probation.
Public defender Sara Hildebrand presented letters from family members and asked for leniency in Bunion’s case.
After the judge voiced his skepticism, Bunion addressed the court.
“I didn’t mean to hurt her. I didn’t know I was hurting her,” Bunion said.
Bunion went on to say that he remembers the woman taking off her clothes, but nothing after that.
“I’m reluctant to take a plea from someone who cannot say: ‘I did this,’” Herringer said.
The judge said he would be inclined to sentence Bunion to three years in prison.
When a judge rejects a plea deal, the defendant has the right to withdraw his plea and take the case before a jury.
At a jury trial, Bunion could face a lifelong sentence.
The defense lawyers asked that Bunion have the opportunity to write a statement to the judge. They argued he was soft-spoken and could better convey his remorse in writing.
Herringer agreed to allow Bunion to come before the court again for sentencing Oct. 7.