Deportation likely for man after guilty pleas

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

A man who was arrested twice on suspicion of drunken driving in three hours last fall and then followed that up with two arrests on suspicion of stealing cars in the following three months pleaded guilty Monday to two felonies.

Marvin Luna-Lovo, 26, entered the guilty pleas to two counts of aggravated motor-vehicle theft and faces between two and six years in prison when he is sentenced in July. That sentence will run concurrently with any sentences he receives in Pitkin County Court for the two DUIs and a misdemeanor assault charge he got for fighting in the Pitkin County Jail, said Molly Owens, his lawyer.

However, the length of any sentence Luna-Lovo, an El Salvador native, receives may not matter much in the end.

“I would be surprised if (the auto-theft charge) is not a mandatory deportation offense,” prosecutor Andrea Bryan said.

Luna-Lovo was first arrested for DUI at about 10 p.m. Oct. 30 after admitting to drinking one shot and smoking marijuana. He was released from jail to a sober friend two hours and 20 minutes later, though police pulled him over again 30 minutes after that for driving erratically.

Urinalysis results from after those two arrests later showed the presence of cocaine and methamphetamine, Bryan has said previously.

Luna-Lovo was arrested again Dec. 2 after he was caught on surveillance video parking a car near the Jewish Community Center that was reported stolen from outside a local Aspen bar. Then, on Jan. 26, Luna-Lovo stole a Jeep Grand Cherokee left running at the Intercept Lot while a couple tried to figure out why another vehicle wouldn’t start.

In other court news Monday:

• A 28-year-old Snowmass Village man pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of cruelty to animals in connection with his arrest last summer for drowning his family’s cat.

In exchange for Nathaniel Work’s guilty plea to felony aggravated cruelty to animals, he received a deferred judgment, which means the felony will be wiped off his record if he stays out of trouble for the next two years.

Work’s plea to misdemeanor cruelty to animals is not part of the plea deal. He will face between six months and a year and a half in the Pitkin County Jail when he is sentenced, though he will likely receive probation, said Owens, his lawyer.

Work was incarcerated at the jail from the time he was arrested in August until a state psychiatrist found him competent to stand trial in March, and a district judge allowed him to be released. Work is receiving residential treatment at a facility on the Front Range, Owens said Monday.

• The lawyer for a 51-year-old man with a history of a assaulting Aspen police officers raised the issue of the man’s mental competency Monday.

That means two cases against Landin Smith involving felony assaults of police officers in February 2015 and December will be put on hold while state psychiatrists determine if he is competent to stand trial. State doctors have already found him competent twice, Bryan said.

Smith pleaded guilty in February to two counts of felony assault on a police officer and faced between four and 10 years in prison. Soon after, however, Smith decided to fire his public defender and began making comments about wanting to withdraw the plea.

Smith has already spent three years in prison for kicking an Aspen police officer in 2009, and did another six-month stint in the Pitkin County Jail a month after he was released from prison for kicking an officer again.

The latest cases involve an assault on a sergeant who was taking him to a detox facility in February 2015 and kicking another officer in the leg at the jail after he was arrested in December.

• A former chef at an on-mountain restaurant in Snomwass was sentenced to two years of probation Monday for threatening to stab a waiter in February.

Robert McConnell, 32, of Carbondale, pleaded guilty to felony menacing in April in exchange for a deferred sentence, which means the felony charge will be expunged from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next two years.

McConnell was working at the Lynn Britt Cabin restaurant when he got into a disagreement with the waiter over food being delivered to the wrong table. During the argument, McConnell held up a knife and threatened to stab the waiter.


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