Sheen’s attorneys file motions targeting evidence in Aspen case
ASPEN, Colorado – Two Aspen police officers – one former, the other current – involved in the Christmas Day arrest of Charlie Sheen have attracted the scrutiny of the actor’s defense attorneys, who are seeking to have some evidence dismissed from the domestic violence case.
One motion filed in Pitkin County District Court, where the Hollywood celebrity is being charged under the name Carlos Irwin Estevez, seeks to suppress statements Sheen made to Officer Rick Magnuson.
Prior to arresting him, Magnuson questioned Sheen, 44, in the basement of a West End home, according to a motion filed by Aspen lawyer Richard Cummins. It was at that residence where Sheen allegedly threatened to kill his wife, Brooke Mueller, with a knife.
Magnuson, the motion says, questioned Sheen without advising the actor of his Miranda rights. The motion seeks to suppress whatever statements Sheen allegedly made to Magnuson. The motion does not reveal the content of Sheen’s statements.
“Because a reasonable person in Mr. Estevez’s situation would believe that he was not free to leave, Mr. Estevez was clearly in custody at the time he was questioned by Officer Magnuson,” the motion says. “Thus, any statements made by Mr. Estevez during this custodial interrogation must [be] suppressed …”
Another motion aims to preserve videotape surveillance from a February conversation between ex-officer Valerie McFarlane and former Aspen Daily News editor Troy Hooper.
McFarlane, who interviewed Mueller twice on the day Mueller was allegedly threatened, resigned from the Aspen Police Department on Feb. 26. She stepped down following a one-day suspension that was the result of her apparent special treatment given to Hooper when she gave him a ride home in the early morning of Feb. 19. A conversation between the two was caught on surveillance tape, which led to Hooper’s departure from the Daily News.
On the recording, Hooper can be heard telling McFarlane: “I want to give you a second chance just like you are giving me a second chance. Easily you could put me in jail and say ‘You know what, this guy’s been drinking, blah, blah, blah …'”
The motion claims that that McFarlane “will be a critical witness at trial,” and suggests the audio recording of her and Hooper could be “directly relevant to Officer McFarlane’s character for truthfulness” and “could be relevant impeachment evidence at trial.”
McFarlane’s credibility is also questioned in another motion that seeks to gather her personnel records from the Aspen Police Department and the city of Aspen. On Tuesday, Jim True, special counsel for the city, filed court papers challenging that motion, on the basis that not all of McFarlane’s personnel files are available for review by the defense.
The defense’s motions were filed earlier this month. Prosecutor Arnold Mordkin declined to comment about the motions Thursday.
Sheen has pleaded not guilty to the felony domestic violence charges. A jury trial is set for July 21.