Chronic Aspen cop assaulter facing prison sentence
A 51-year-old Aspen man who’s already done a three-year stint in prison for kicking a police officer is now facing a four-to-10 year sentence for assaulting two more cops.
Landin Smith pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of felony assault on a police officer related to an incident in February with one Aspen police officer and an altercation in December with another. As part of a plea deal, he will be sentenced to a minimum of four years and a maximum of 10 years in prison for the attacks.
Smith told District Judge Chris Seldin on Friday that he’s been diagnosed with multiple-personality disorder and continually referred to himself as “we” in court. However, he and his attorney, public defender Molly Owens, told the judge he understood what was happening and the judge accepted the plea.
Smith has been fighting with Aspen police officers since at least 2009, when he kicked an officer at Koch Lumber Park. He was arrested at that time for violating a protection order by drinking alcohol, and later sentenced to four years in prison for the assault.
Smith served three years and was released in December 2012. About a month later, he kicked another Aspen cop in the leg and was again charged with felony assault on a police officer. He eventually pleaded to a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault on a first responder in that case and was sentenced to six months in jail.
Then in February, Aspen Police Sgt. Dan Davis attempted to take an intoxicated Smith to detox at the jail, but Smith began verbally abusing him and tried to escape from the police car. Smith then punched Davis in the face and assaulted him in his car while the officer was driving. For that, he was hit with yet another felony charge of assaulting a police officer.
Smith has spent most of the last year in the Pitkin County Jail, though he was able to post bond and get out in early December.
However, hours after he was released, he was back in police custody, this time for violating bond conditions by drinking alcohol.
Officers tried to arrest him but Smith pushed one of them with his shoulder, yelled obscenities at them, kicked another and threatened to kill him, according to court documents. Officer Terry Leitch was able to calm him down, though and stayed with him while he was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital and then back to jail.
Leitch remained at the jail while Smith was booked. But without provocation, Smith kicked Leitch “with a strong amount of force, causing sharp pain,” the officer wrote in a police report. He’s been in jail ever since.
Smith told Judge Seldin on Friday that he doesn’t remember attacking the two officers.
“I have no recollection of it but it did happen and it was us that did it,” Smith said.
He is scheduled to be sentenced April 4.
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