But after some consideration, the Lile brothers agreed to hear what Wells had to say, and maybe save a customer. Wells hadn’t been in trouble with the law before, and he seemed truly remorseful, Chip Lile said.

“I hope what we did was hold someone accountable for their actions and give them a chance to make things right,” he said.

Victim-offender mediation, also called restorative justice, is gaining momentum in La Plata County.

The program allows victims and offenders to meet in a safe and structured environment to discuss what happened and develop a plan to right the wrong. The “punishment” usually involves the offender paying restitution and performing community service.

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