Aspen man gets 15 months for assault on officer
An Aspen man who assaulted a police officer was sentenced to 15 months in prison Monday, though his attorney says he will appeal.Thomas Frampton, 40, was convicted in April. The incident happened last July when police were called to Frampton’s home on a report that he was drunk and threatening to kill family members.Officers said that when they arrived at the apartment, Frampton was wielding a barbecue fork and then resisted arrest. A police officer suffered minor injuries when Frampton, who was eventually subdued with a taser gun, slammed a door.The jury ruled police provoked the incident with aggressive orders, but convicted him anyway. Frampton testified that events got out of control because he had been drinking and his stepdaughter had pepper-sprayed him for no reason.At yesterday’s sentencing hearing Frampton said he acknowledged that none of it would have happened if he hadn’t been intoxicated.”I am truly sorry for any pain I caused the police last July, and I had no intention of hurting anyone that day,” he told the court. “It was a tragedy of errors that occurred.”Frampton also said that, because of his drinking, the situation quickly got out of hand. Frampton, his attorney, John Van Ness, and various family members spoke on his behalf Monday. They said Frampton has been sober for the past 12 months after the incident, and his work as a property manger has been thriving.More than 20 family members and friends appeared in court yesterday to support him. They gave a signed petition to the judge recommending that Frampton’s sentence be served at the county jail with work release privileges.But second-degree assault against a police officer, even with provocation, is considered a “crime of violence,” and 15 months in the department of corrections is the minimum sentence. Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols recommended the mandatory minimum sentence to the judge, citing Frampton’s past encounters with police.”[He has an] extensive, fairly minor record,” Nichols said, “when he’s been drunk and difficult to handle, and police were apprehensive in dealing with him.”Van Ness said his client has sought counseling for alcohol abuse, has stayed sober, and continues to manage 28 homes worth a combined $100 million and six employees in the summer. Frampton has avoided all contact with police in the past year, Van Ness said.After delivering the sentence, Judge James Boyd set Frampton’s bail at $2,500 so that he could post bond while his attorney works on an appeal.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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