Basalt man faces charges of assault, false imprisonment |

Basalt man faces charges of assault, false imprisonment

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – A Basalt man who allegedly tried to suffocate his pregnant girlfriend with a pillow faced a judge Tuesday for the first time since the incident took place at an apartment he shared with the woman.

Soren Michael Klanderud, 41, is accused of assault in the third degree, false imprisonment and domestic violence. The assault count is the most serious, and carries a penalty up to 24 months in jail, based on state sentencing guidelines.

Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely advised him of the counts at a hearing in Pitkin County Court. The judge also ordered a $750 personal recognizance bond for Klanderud.

Klanderud is to spend the next three months in a rehabilitation program, Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin said. Klanderud is expected to begin the program shortly after his release from jail.

Klanderud is to next appear in court Sept. 22. He is the son of former Aspen mayor Helen Klanderud, who served six years in the position. She also served on the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners.

Officers arrested Soren Klanderud on May 28; a short while after his girlfriend informed Basalt police that she was a victim of domestic violence, according to an arrest affidavit. The alleged incident happened at couple’s Emma Road apartment.

The victim told police that Klanderud “beat me up.” She also said that it was not the first time it happened and the latest incident resulted in her being held captive for 10 hours.

“He strangled me with his hands,” the victim said in the arrest affidavit.

The victim also told police that she believed she was pregnant when the alleged incident took place. She was later taken to Aspen Valley Hospital where an Aspen police officer photographed injuries and bruises.

Klanderud was also taken to Aspen Valley Hospital after the incident. He apparently had a seizure while he was being arrested. The seizure was believed to be the result of a “high level of intoxication.”

His blood-alcohol level was recorded at .396, according to the arrest affidavit, or roughly five times the legal limit. Klanderud spent about a week in the hospital after the incident, authorities said.

He apparently received treatment at the hospital although the extent of the medical care was not revealed.

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