Aspen cops: Man threatened murder
September 5, 2009
ASPEN – A local man faces a charge of attempted second-degree murder after authorities arrested him Thursday night when he went to the Aspen Police Department to talk to the alleged victim, his girlfriend, who had gone there to report he had attacked her moments earlier.
Aaron Michael Anderson, 34, is accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend and telling her that “If you tell anyone I will kill you, 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,” according to an affidavit filed by Aspen police officer Robert Fabrocini.
Police also say Anderson choked, punched, elbowed and pinned down the accuser, who suffered cuts and bruises to her eye, ear, cheekbone, right foot, right thigh, right forearm, abdomen and throat. He also allegedly pulled a kitchen knife on her.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, Anderson remained incarcerated in the Pitkin County jail on $50,000 bond. He also is being held on a warrant out of California for alleged parole violation.
During his advisement of the charges Friday in Pitkin County District Court, Anderson asked Judge James Boyd about the alleged victim’s whereabouts.
“All I want to know is, where is she at?” he said. “She came at me with a butter knife. Where’s she at?”
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The judge advised Anderson to get a lawyer before he said anything else in court.
But near the conclusion of the hearing, Anderson said: “One thing I don’t understand is this whole ‘murder’ thing. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Replied Boyd: “That’s why I advise you to get an attorney.”
Anderson apparently became unhinged when his girlfriend woke him up at his apartment, located in the basement of Independence Square lodge where he worked, to ask him if he had taken eight of her prescription Xanex pills. She also was worried that he would sleep in and miss work, Fabrocini reported.
Unable to wake him up, the girl took $25 in cash from Anderson’s pocket for gas money so she could meet her mother at the top of Independence Pass, Fabrocini wrote. When she returned to the lodge, she woke up Anderson to tell him that his boss was looking for him.
Anderson went to meet the hotel manager, and when he returned to the room, where the girlfriend was, he yelled about his money being gone and “then started to throw random objects from around the apartment at [the alleged victim],” Fabrocini wrote.
He then allegedly attacked the woman, later telling her he wanted $500 in cash or an ounce of cocaine – or he would kill her. The alleged victim then locked the door behind Anderson, went outside and met a friend she had called to pick her up, Fabrocini wrote.
The two went to the Aspen Police Department, where they met Fabrocini.
“I observed [the alleged victim] to be extremely upset, crying, hyperventilating and unable to tell me what was causing her state of panic,” the officer’s affidavit says.
As Fabrocini was interviewing the alleged victim, he was told by officer Leon Murray that Anderson was at the courthouse, apparently wanting to talk to her. Fabrocini then instructed officer Jeff Fain to arrest Anderson, who was taken into custody.
Around the same time, the alleged victim was taken to the emergency room at Aspen Valley Hospital to be treated for her injuries. The physician who treated the alleged victim filed a report saying that the victim suffered serious bodily injury, most notably an ear drum contusion hemorrhage, the affidavit says.
Anderson was advised of the charges Friday in Pitkin County District Court. The advisement, scheduled for 4 p.m. in the chambers of District Judge James Boyd, didn’t happen until about 25 minutes later because Anderson initially refused to appear before a judge without a lawyer.
While in the courthouse hall, Anderson could be heard cursing, saying the court system is “f—ked.”
He was taken back to jail, but later returned to the courtroom, where added security was on hand. Authorities wanted to make sure he was advised of the charges Friday because of Monday’s holiday.
Boyd explained to Anderson that he faces five charges, including the class-three felony of criminal attempt to commit second-degree homicide, which carries a prison sentence of eight to 32 years. He also faces the class-four felony of second-degree assault, punishable by four to 16 years in prison, and the class-five felony of menacing, which carries one to three years in prison.
Additionally, he faces a misdemeanor charge of harassment and domestic violence bond conditions.
Because Anderson was wanted in California on an alleged parole violation, he could be extradited to California. Judge Boyd told him he can either waive or contest extradition.
Anderson appeared ready to go to California, where he was sentenced to two years in prison for damaging power lines. That conviction was part of a plea bargain that came after he originally was charged with kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin told the judge.
“I wanna get this done so I can get on,” Anderson told the judge. He later added: “I don’t want to sit in this jail for six months if I can have it done in two weeks.”
Still, Mordkin could fight extradition in order to charge Anderson here.
Anderson’s next court appearance is scheduled Tuesday.