Aspen prosecutor sidelined in Hecht case | AspenTimes.com

Aspen prosecutor sidelined in Hecht case

Nikos Hecht

Aspen's main prosecutor will not have anything to do with the domestic violence case against a prominent local developer because her husband works with the man's father.

Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan said Thursday that she will have zero involvement in the case against Nikos Hecht, 45, because her husband, Chris Bryan, is a partner at the Garfield and Hecht law firm in Aspen, which is co-owned by Nikos Hecht's father.

"It's not, strictly speaking, a conflict of interest, but we decided it was best I have nothing to do with it," Andrea Bryan said. "We have screening procedures in place to make sure I have nothing to do with it."

Hecht was charged with assault, menacing, domestic violence and two counts of harassment last week after an investigation by the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office. The 30-year-old victim in the case initially told investigators that she called 911 after a conflict with Hecht, who allegedly wouldn't let her leave his home and pushed her to the ground.

The victim later changed her story, saying nothing criminal occurred. However that was after she gave a video/audio recording to a friend, who later shared it with law enforcement, for safekeeping in which she is heard to accuse Hecht of choking her, according to law enforcement reports.

Bryan, who usually handles felony cases in District Court, would not have been the main prosecutor on the case because Hecht is charged with only misdemeanors. Generally, prosecutor Michael Warren handles such cases, though Bryan is his supervisor and might have had cursory dealings with it.

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Hecht has hired prominent Denver criminal attorney Pamela Mackey, who defended basketball star Kobe Bryant on rape charges. Mackey also defended current Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, when he was charged in 2004 with assault and battery stemming from an incident at an Aspen restaurant. DiSalvo was head of investigations for the sheriff's office at the time.

Prosecutors did not oppose a motion filed earlier this week by Mackey asking that Hecht be allowed to travel to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Hawaii this month. Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely okayed the travel Wednesday.

jauslander@aspentimes.com