Judge sets trial date for Nikos Hecht | AspenTimes.com

Judge sets trial date for Nikos Hecht

Nikos Hecht

Prominent Aspen developer and landlord Nikos Hecht pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Pitkin County Court to three charges connected to domestic violence, setting the stage for trial next year.

Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely scheduled a four-day trial beginning Jan. 26. The judge also set a hearing for Oct. 13, when parties will argue whether a court-ordered protection order should be modified to prohibit Hecht from consuming alcohol or using controlled substances. The alleged victim, who was in court with her own attorney, told the judge that Hecht, 45, is a "habitual drug user, and I think that influenced what happened."

Hecht's attorney, Pamela Mackey of Denver, opposed the request.

"We would object, your honor," she said. "We've had no notice."

Mackey also told the judge she doesn't plan to file motions to suppress evidence in the case.

"I don't anticipate any at this time," she said. "I'm not sure if discovery is complete, but I don't see anything at this point."

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Barring a plea deal or change of plea, Hecht will stand trial on three misdemeanor charges — harassment by phone, menacing and third-degree assault. A fourth charge — assault by striking, shoving or kicking — was dismissed, prosecutor Michael Warren told the court.

Pitkin County sheriff's deputies arrested Hecht on July 30, after the woman, who is in her early 30s, told investigators that he had physically and verbally abused her. A friend of the alleged victim's also provided authorities with cellphone audio in which Hecht can be heard threatening to cut her, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. At one point, she says, "Stop! … Please don't hurt me. … Please. … You just choked me!'" the warrant states. Hecht also threatened to kill her parents if she contacted authorities to report he wouldn't leave her home, the warrant alleges.

Hecht, who owns interests in such downtown buildings as 508 E. Cooper Ave. and the Little Annie's building, is out of jail on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

Fernandez-Ely reminded him that he is not allowed to have contact with the alleged victim while the case is active.

"The restraining order is still in place, just to let you know, Mr. Hecht," she said. "And it will not be lifted until there is a final disposition of the case."

rcarroll@aspentimes.com