Aspen woman struck her ex-boyfriend with hammer, police say |

Aspen woman struck her ex-boyfriend with hammer, police say

Terry Ann Decker

ASPEN – An Aspen woman has been jailed on suspicion of striking her ex-boyfriend in the head with a hammer.

Police arrested Terry Ann Decker, 62, at her Truscott Place apartment at 10:44 p.m. Saturday after she called law enforcement officials to report that a man was knocking on her door, according to an affidavit.

When police arrived, they spotted the man, Marc Altman, 48, standing under the carport next to Decker’s unit, his head bloodied.

“Altman told Officer (Jeff) Fain and I that Decker had hit him in the head with a hammer,” Officer Adam Loudon wrote in an affidavit for a warrantless arrest. “I observed the top of Altman’s head and saw a circular-shaped laceration that was freshly bleeding.”

Loudon then spoke to Decker, who admitted that she used the hammer on Altman’s head, the affidavit said. Soon after, Loudon found a wooden-handled hammer in a sink at Decker’s apartment, according to the affidavit.

“I asked Decker what happened, and she told me that Altman took her phones,” Loudon wrote.

The affidavit provided no elaboration on that statement.

On Monday, Decker was advised in Pitkin County District Court that charges pending against her include domestic violence and second-degree assault, a felony count that carries five to 16 years in state prison along with a mandatory parole of three years.

Judge Gail Nichols also set Decker’s bond at $2,500. She remained incarcerated as of Wednesday afternoon.

Attorney John Van Ness represented Decker at the hearing but said Wednesday that he was unsure if he will continue in her defense. He said he has gathered limited evidence so far in the case.

“It’s premature to say anything,” he said. “I haven’t seen any police reports, and I have no idea what (Altman’s) story is. It seems to be one of those things where he keeps coming around, and she keeps asking him to leave.”

Altman and Decker have had previous encounters that attracted the attention of the police, records show. Most recently, on March 27, Altman was arrested on suspicion of trespassing at Decker’s storage space at Truscott, according to police.

Prosecutor Arnold Mordkin, meanwhile, said he did not believe Altman’s head injury was severe.

“I don’t think he required any stitches, and he’s OK,” Mordkin said.

Mordkin said he will likely charge Decker at her next court appearance, set for May 7.

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