ASPEN - An Aspen drifter won't be charged with attempted second-degree murder if a plea deal goes through.
Marc Altman, 49, has tentatively accepted prosecutor Arnold Mordkin's offer that calls for him pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of third-degree assault and one charge of felony menacing. A deferred judgment of four years comes with the menacing plea, said Glenwood Springs attorney Peter Rachesky, who represents Altman.
A preliminary hearing had been set for Altman on Monday in Pitkin County District Court. Altman waived it because of the pending plea deal.
Altman will be given credit for the time he has served in Pitkin County Jail since Aspen police arrested him Aug. 6. Nichols must approve the plea deal, which she is scheduled to review at Altman's sentencing hearing Dec. 17.
Mordkin would not discuss the reasons behind the reduced charges. He also plans to drop a count of second-degree assault causing serious bodily injury and two counts of first-degree criminal trespassing. All the offenses are felonies.
"It's always difficult to pursue charges when the victim doesn't want to cooperate," he said.
Police said that Altman stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Terry Lynn Decker, in the back at her Truscott Place apartment unit. Decker, 62, had a mark about 1 inch long "that I believed to be a stab wound that possibly came from a knife," wrote Aspen Police Officer Peter Bauer.
Decker also had told The Aspen Times, near the time of Altman's arrest, that the stab was superficial and was not a "big deal."
Even so, police took her to Aspen Valley Hospital, where she was treated for injuries and released the same day.
Meanwhile, a felony assault charge is pending against Decker in District Court. Authorities say that in April, she struck Altman in the head with a hammer.
Both Altman and Decker are under court orders not to have contact with each other.