Alleged Aspen stalker pleads insanity |

Alleged Aspen stalker pleads insanity

Staff report

A former Aspen resident charged with stalking and repeatedly harassing a person who lives in town pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday to that charge and three others.

Jan Hamilton, 78, appeared Thursday in Pitkin County District Court virtually from Washington, D.C., where she now lives, and entered the plea with her two lawyers. A trial on the felony stalking charge and three misdemeanor counts of violating a restraining order against her was canceled.

Hamilton was extradited from Washington to Aspen in January after an arrest warrant filed by the District Attorney’s office in December accused her of sending more than 250 emails, as well as calling and sending packages to the Aspen resident. Hamilton has been forbidden since 2008 from contacting the resident because of an active restraining order.

“(The resident) has suffered significantly mentally and financially because of Hamilton and her outright refusal to recognize the restraining order issued in 2008,” according to the December warrant.

After she was extradited to Aspen, District Judge Chris Seldin allowed her out of jail on a personal recognizance bond and ordered her to return to Washington, D.C., and not violate the restraining order.

She must now be examined by state of Colorado mental health professionals, a process that can take more than a year to complete because of a backlog of cases.

Hamilton has a lengthy history in Aspen of filing harassing lawsuits. A District Court judge banned her from filing any more lawsuits in 2011 after finding that the 61 suits she filed between 2005 and 2011 were “baseless,” “frivolous” and “vexatious.”

Hamilton accused a different District Court of attempted murder in 2015 and has previously been arrested in Aspen for stalking, criminal attempt of extortion and false reporting and was evicted three times from area housing.

A message left Friday for Hamilton’s lawyer was not returned.