Kennedy family member pleads guilty in Aspen bar fight
February 16, 2017
A 22-year-old member of the Kennedy family pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Wednesday in relation to his role in an early-morning fight outside an Aspen bar in December.
Conor Kennedy did not appear and was not required to appear in Aspen Municipal Court to enter the plea Wednesday morning, said Assistant City Attorney Andrea Bryan.
Aspen attorney Ryan Kalamaya appeared instead on Kennedy's behalf and said his client was defending a friend outside the Bootsy Bellows nightclub before he was arrested. Kennedy and his family declined to comment further on the case, Kalamaya said.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Kennedy was given a six-month deferred sentence, meaning the plea will be wiped from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next six months, Bryan said. Kennedy also was required to write a letter of apology to the victim in the case, pay a $500 fine plus $35 in court costs, and refrain from alcohol and drugs for the six-month period, she said.
Kennedy's case was treated the same as any other disorderly conduct case and he did not receive special treatment, Bryan said. Ninety percent of Municipal Court cases end with plea deals, she said.
Kennedy was arrested Dec. 29 after an Aspen police officer saw him grab another man by his shirt, pull him down so he was bent over and punch him four or five times in the back of his head with his fists, police have said. The officer tried to break up the fight, which occurred outside and across the street from the bar, but Kennedy allegedly continued trying to fight the man, and he and the officer ended up on the ground in the snow.
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Neither Kennedy nor the officer nor the victim were injured.
Kennedy later apologized to the officer and said the man he was fighting called Kennedy's friend "the F-word," according to a police report. At the time, it wasn't clear which F-word Kennedy was referring to.
However, in a subsequent interview with The Aspen Times, Robert Kennedy Jr., Conor Kennedy's father, said the alleged victim in the case was one of the two men who bullied his son's gay friend by referring to him with a homophobic slur.
Robert Kennedy also said the alleged victim in the fight took the first swing at his son.
"Conor has always reacted against bullying," Robert Kennedy said in December. "I'm happy he stood up for his friend."
The victim in the case did not want to press charges against Conor Kennedy and, in fact, told police he thought he was a great person, Kalamaya said.