Calif. filmmaker admits guilt, gets probation |

Calif. filmmaker admits guilt, gets probation

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

A California documentary filmmaker who was arrested by Aspen police in March after an alleged theft at the Marolt Place seasonal-housing development pleaded guilty Monday in Pitkin County District Court to two misdemeanors in connection with the incident.

Andrew Anthony, 27, previously faced a felony trespassing charge in connection with the March 21 events that led to his arrest. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts — criminal possession of a financial device and theft — through a plea agreement with the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Judge Gail Nichols sentenced him to two years of supervised probation, which he will serve in California.

Police said Anthony was highly intoxicated when he showed up at an acquaintance’s apartment and was asked to leave. Upon leaving, he took some items with him, including someone else’s wallet, police said.

He allegedly returned to the apartment and was told to leave again. He was arrested after the second incident.

A website for Best Coast Productions, of Santa Barbara, California, lists Anthony as the CEO. The website describes Best Coast as a video-production company “focused on promoting underground music with a positive message, small business and extreme sports.”

According to the movie-information website, Anthony co-directed and shot a 2012 documentary called “Stillness,” featuring the voice of Irish-American actor Malachy McCourt, brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Frank McCourt.

Anthony told Nichols he has lived in the Aspen area for the past two winters. His family and his business are in California, he said.

A public defender representing Anthony said he is prepared to make restitution to the victims. Anthony also has made arrangements to receive counseling for alcohol abuse through an inpatient treatment facility in California.

“I’m just sorry this happened,” Anthony told Nichols.

In the days following his arrest, he told The Aspen Times that the incidents at Marolt Place and the arrest itself were misunderstandings and that all of the charges likely would be dropped. One charge, felony trespassing, was dropped.

In other District Court action on Monday:

• Weston J. Petrovich, 26, pleaded guilty to a felony drug-possession charge and received probation. Petrovich, a local restaurant server at the time of his arrest more than two months ago, ran away from an Aspen policeman who suspected him of holding drugs outside the Belly Up music club in the early-morning hours of June 8. The policeman then identified him through the club’s surveillance video and arrested him that same evening at his workplace on East Hopkins Avenue. Nichols told Petrovich that if he successfully completes his probation, his record will be changed to reflect a misdemeanor, not a felony.

• Nichols reduced to $1,000 the bond for a 23-year-old homeless man accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Minnesota native Russell L. Nelson, who has been in the custody of the Pitkin County Jail on $5,000 bond since Thursday, allegedly harbored a 17-year-old runaway girl from Arapahoe County. Assistant District Attorney Scott Turner argued against his release on a personal-recognizance bond, pointing out Nelson’s extensive criminal history. A local man who recently met Nelson spoke up and said he would feed and house Nelson, a recovering substance abuser, if Nelson were set free. Nichols noted that Nelson had obvious knowledge of drug- and alcohol-counseling programs in Aspen, and Nichols agreed to reduce the bond but stipulated that Nelson attend counseling sessions five times a week and appear for all scheduled court dates.