Stabbing incident sends Eagle resident to prison | VailDaily.com

Stabbing incident sends Eagle resident to prison

An Eagle man was sentenced to three years in state prison after pleading guilty in a stabbing incident.

Tim O'Brien, a professional woodworker, pulled a tool from his belt during a fight with Spencer Kluesner, and stabbed Kluesner twice in the abdomen, police said.

O'Brien told Eagle County sheriff's deputies that Kluesner had him in a wrestling-style chokehold, and that he could not breathe.

One puncture wound is 1 inch long, and the other is an inch and a half long and about a quarter inch deep, according to the police reports.

About the Incident

The whole thing started when Kluesner was running a gas-powered weed trimming machine at his landlord's house in Eagle's Upper Kaibab neighborhood. The landlord was said to be O'Brien's girlfriend at the time, and O'Brien had asked Kluesner to turn off the machine because of the noise, police said.

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O'Brien pleaded guilty to felony assault. He was sent directly to state prison. District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman gave O'Brien the option of asking in a few months that the sentence be reduced, pointing out O'Brien's complete lack of any criminal record.

However, Dunkelman said O'Brien harassing the victims and drinking violated his bond.

"He's still stalking and harassing us," Kluesner said when O'Brien was sentenced.

Jim Fahrenholtz, O'Brien's defense attorney, took issue with Kluesner's version of events, saying it does not match the police reports or the doctors' reports.

"Mr. O'Brien admits he made a mistake. He was not using a knife to begin with. It was a tool he uses every day with his woodworking business," Fahrenholtz said.

Kluesner leaned over and did a chokehold on O'Brien, said Fahrenholtz, citing two doctor's reports.

'I Blame No One but Myself'

Kluesner told District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman that in the past several weeks he has attended his daughter's medical school graduation and walked her down the aisle for her wedding.

"My daughter would have been fatherless and my wife would have been a widow," Kluesner said.

O'Brien apologized for his part in all this.

"I blame no one but myself. This self-made dilemma cost me the love of my life and the home that we shared," O'Brien said during his sentencing hearing.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.