Aspen man sentenced to prison after fight with officers
December 8, 2009
ASPEN – An Aspen man was sentenced Monday to four years in state prison for assaulting a police officer.
The sentencing of Landin Smith, 45, by Judge James Boyd of Pitkin County District Court came despite efforts by his attorney for a more lenient sentence.
Public defender Stephen McCrohan argued that the second-degree assault of a police officer was a trumped-up charge, and said resisting arrest was a more appropriate offense. Boyd was not persuaded, and told Smith he hoped the sentence would mark a “turning point in his life.”
Since earlier this year, Smith has been tied up in the local court system, having also been charged with unlawful sexual contact involving a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Both of those charges were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea to second-degree assault on a police officer, stemming from an Aug. 13 incident at Koch Lumber Park.
That’s when he kicked two Aspen officers as they attempted to arrest him for being under the influence of alcohol, a violation of his bond in another case.
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According to previous court testimony, Aspen police Sgt. Rob Fabrocini said when he initially approached Smith at the park, he would not say whether he had been drinking when asked. When Fabrocini told Smith he was under arrest for drinking, in violation of his bail bond condition, Smith became hostile with the arresting officers, Leon Murray and Chance Williams, according to Fabrocini’s testimony.
A scuffle ensued, with Smith kicking, yelling and swearing at the officers, Fabrocini said. Fabrocini testified that Smith kicked him in the thigh and tried to bite him when the suspect was placed in the patrol vehicle.
Williams suffered three broken foot bones.
During Monday’s hearing, Smith told the court he expected to “suffer consequences from my actions.” However, while pleading for a lesser charge, Smith said the count against him was “above and beyond … but I do hold myself accountable.” In previous testimony, he said he had blacked out from drinking alcohol and did not remember the altercation.
Boyd noted that he had seen Smith’s attitude change.
“You have been reflective and sincere, accepting responsibility of this offense,” the judge said.
Still, Boyd suggested that the ramifications of Smith’s self-admitted alcohol abuse had caught up with him.