Aspen man confronts addiction, receives probation
District Judge Chris Seldin gave a local man with serious drug addiction issues one more chance to fly right Friday.
The probation department had recommended that Kent Muer, 40, be sentenced to the community corrections program in Glenwood Springs, which is generally the last chance a person gets before being sent to prison, Seldin said. But Seldin said he was going with his intuition, and instead sentenced Muer to two years of supervised probation. During that time Muer will not only have to stay off drugs and alcohol, he will also have to complete Pitkin County’s Recovery Court, which teaches addicts how to live a sober life.
“I am going to give you one more chance at standard probation,” Seldin said. “Some people might say … I shouldn’t be affording you this opportunity. (But) I’m not concerned that you’re a danger to the community.
“You’re a danger to yourself.”
Muer has been on a downward spiral since Christmas 2015, when he was arrested at a local hotel for drug possession, assault and domestic violence related to a woman he’d recently married in Las Vegas. His latest charges occurred in March when he revoked his own bond and went back into the Pitkin County Jail with smuggled drugs in his possession.
“I was wrong over the last two years,” Muer said in court Friday. “When I committed a new crime three months ago, I was in a horrible position in my life due to drug use.”
Getting caught at the time “was probably one of the best things that happened” because it made him finally confront his addiction, he said.
He now attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, has a sponsor and knows he must take responsibility for his own actions.
Also, for the first time in his adult life, Muer must find a job because he’s been cut off by his family, said Molly Owens, his lawyer.
Muer’s father was president of a company that owned a chain of more than 20 seafood restaurants in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington ,D.C., according to newspaper reports. However, both his parents and another couple disappeared without a trace while sailing from the Bahamas to Florida in March 1993 after a massive winter storm packing winds of more than 80 mph descended, the reports state.
“Now my life is completely different,” Muer said Friday. “I have to work. I have to take accountability for my actions.
“I hope to move forward as a contributing member of society.”
Muer must also complete 40 hours community service and enroll in a sobriety monitoring program. He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
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Both President Donald Trump and the Republican Party stand to reap quite a windfall after Vice President Mike Pence visits Aspen on Monday for a fundraiser.