Aspen attempted murder suspect wants to waive extradition
September 9, 2009
ASPEN – Attempted murder suspect Aaron Michael Anderson appeared in Pitkin County District Court on Monday, telling a judge he wants to return to California where he’s wanted for an alleged parole violation.
Aspen police arrested Anderson, 34, last Thursday for allegedly injuring his girlfriend and threatening to kill her as well.
Police allege that earlier that day, Anderson choked, punched, elbowed and pinned down the woman, who suffered cuts to her eye, ear, cheekbone, right foot, right thigh, right forearm, abdomen and throat. He also allegedly pulled a kitchen knife on her, and told her that “I will drive you up Independence Pass and throw your body off a cliff so no one can find you. I will then kill your mother.”
He was arrested at the Aspen police station when he went there to find the alleged victim, police said. The girl apparently had gone to the station after breaking free from Anderson at the Independence Square lodge in downtown Aspen, where the alleged attack occurred. That’s where Anderson had lived and worked.
Anderson is being held in the Pitkin County jail on $50,000 bond for the alleged attempted murder, and four other pending charges. He also is being held on the California warrant.
Public defender Stephen McCrohan told District Judge James Boyd that Anderson would prefer to waive extradition to go to California to face the parole violation charge, before being tried in Pitkin County.
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“I think Mr. Anderson can waive his right to be extradited,” McCrohan said. “I don’t think he can post bond.”
Likewise, Anderson said he wants to go to California to “take care of parole.”
“Obviously it looks like I’m going to prison,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to be on parole in two states, so I can go there and take care of it real quick.”
Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin, however, said he would challenge the extradition. Mordkin said the California governor has the authority to either extradite Anderson or issue a warrant and a stay, along with a writ.
“That’s how he would stay here,” Mordkin said.
Boyd continued the matter until Thursday.
In other matters, McCrohan asked Boyd to order Mordkin to file the charges by Friday, claiming an “unnecessary delay” would occur if the counts are not made formal until Sept. 21, the next regularly scheduled felony docket day.
“I think Mr. Anderson has the right to know what the charges are,” McCrohan argued.
Boyd disagreed, and said Mordkin could wait until Sept. 21.
Family members of Anderson’s were in attendance as well. Apparently there had been some recent contact between the alleged victim and some family members, Mordkin told the judge, implying that the victim has a mandatory protection order against Anderson. The communications could constitute a third-party contact by Anderson, Mordkin suggested.
However, McCrohan said that the accuser contacted some family members.
“Obviously if the alleged victim is contacting his family, I don’t think that is a third-party contact by him,” McCrohan said.
Boyd told the family members to be mindful of the contact provisions.
“If you were to get involved it could pose complications for Mr. Anderson,” he told them.
Boyd advised Anderson on Friday that he faces felony charges of criminal attempt to commit second-degree homicide, menacing and second-degree assault. He also faces misdemeanor charges of harassment and violating domestic violence bond conditions.
Before court began yesterday, Anderson repeatedly said, “50 f—-ing years.” That was in reference to a potential prison sentence he could receive, if convicted of the charges. The most punitive charge, the class-three felony of criminal attempt to commit second-degree homicide, carries eight to 32 years in prison. The second-degree assault charge carries four to 16 years in prison, while the menacing charge carries one to three years.
Before Monday’s hearing Anderson told his family members: “I didn’t do shit to her.”