Aspen DA: No special rules sought for Sheen
ASPEN – The prosecutor handling the Charlie Sheen domestic abuse case said no one in the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office sought preferential treatment for the actor to try to salvage a proposed plea agreement.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said pressure on the sheriff’s office to waive the rules of the jail’s useful public service program came from Sheen’s defense team.
“At no time did anybody from the district attorney’s office ask anyone from the sheriff’s office to waive the rules,” Mordkin said.
A plea deal was going to be proposed to Pitkin County District Judge James Boyd on Monday that included Sheen working at Theatre Aspen as part of the jail’s useful public service program. There turned out to be a couple of snags. First, an inmate’s eligibility for community service and the place where they perform it is determined by the jail staff. That wasn’t done in advance in Sheen’s case. Second, an inmate performing useful public service is subject to jail rules even while working elsewhere. That meant Sheen couldn’t smoke.
Beverly Campbell, the coordinator of the jail’s useful public service program, informed members of the prosecution and defense teams that Sheen’s eligibility for the program would be reviewed the same as any other inmate’s, according to multiple sources. She also informed them that a person performing useful public service while serving a jail sentence cannot smoke, according to Mordkin.
He said his reaction was the rules are the rules. “I don’t ask the jail to bend its rules,” he said.
There was “clearly pressure” by the defense team to get the smoking ban waived, Mordin said. Campbell wouldn’t budge. Pitkin County Jail Administrator Don Bird and Sheriff Bob Braudis said they support her decision.
Mordkin and Richard Cummins, Sheen’s Aspen attorney, told Boyd on Monday they needed more time to work out the “finer points” of the plea deal. Sheen’s trial was vacated and a new hearing was set for July 12 to see if a plea deal could be struck.
Mordkin declined further comment after the hearing until Wednesday. When asked what the solution is to the plea agreement snags, he replied: “I don’t know that there is any.”
He placed the blame for the collapse of the agreement on the Sheen side, without naming anyone specifically. “Our office is extremely disturbed by the turn of events created by the defense,” Mordkin said.