Bond lowered for knifing suspect |

Bond lowered for knifing suspect

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Bond has been lowered for an Aspen man who is suspected of slicing another man’s throat.

Donald Elliot Branson should now be able to post bond, lowered on Monday from $150,000 to $100,000, his attorney told the court on Monday. He hadn’t yet posted bond as of Monday evening.

Branson is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault, and accused of trying to slit the throat of Martin Arroyo of Glenwood Springs on April 9. Arroyo told police he was in Old Snowmass that day when Branson came up behind him and tried to kill him by slashing his throat with a knife.

Judge Jim Boyd reduced Branson’s bond, saying that if the suspect bonds out of jail, he must surrender his passport. But he is allowed to go to Texas if he resides with his father or daughter.

Branson has hired Denver-based attorney Gary Lozow, as well as a private detective to look into the incident.

Lozow told the court that his client has a form of cancer that typically lasts about two years. He said Branson has made it through the first two years of the disease, but needs help from family members to stay healthy, in case the cancer reoccurs.

He also said Branson has hired a private investigator to look into the case.

Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills told Judge Boyd he had never been told about Branson’s cancer, and requested that a doctor’s note be provided to the court as proof. He said the violent nature of the offense and the “incredibly violent” allegation of using a knife to slit another person’s throat should be enough to keep Branson in jail without lowering bond.

Branson will next appear in court on May 28.

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