Felony charges against Aspen man dismissed
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – A judge dismissed felony charges Monday against an Aspen man suspected of supplying liquor to a youth at an Aspen park.
Landin G. Smith, 44, was accused of four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Prosecutors had said Smith gave alcohol to a 15-year-old girl in February. He faced up to 24 years in state prison if convicted.
Judge James Boyd of Pitkin County District Court dismissed the charges after determining there was not enough evidence to make Smith stand trial. The judge said that it was apparent all the evidence presented at a preliminary hearing was hearsay.
He made his ruling about two weeks after the preliminary hearing. Public defender Stephen McCrohan, who represented Smith, said there was nothing to support the charges.
“Never any evidence,” he said after Monday’s hearing. “I think [Boyd] made the right ruling.”
Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin declined to comment.
Smith was present for the hearing Monday. After the ruling was issued he stood up and walked away from the defendant’s table flashing a wide smile. Smith then appeared to mouth the word “yeah” before taking a seat in the inmate section of the court.
He was then led back to the Pitkin County jail. While Smith’s bond was withdrawn, he still remains in jail on another charge. He was to appear in court Tuesday afternoon for a hearing in a separate case.
Smith is accused of one count of unlawful sexual contact for an alleged event with the same youth. The offense is punishable by up to 18 months in jail.
McCrohan is seeking to have the misdemeanor case dismissed based on an allegation of governmental misconduct. Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely is expected to rule on the issue Tuesday afternoon.
Aspen police took Smith into custody on March 25 after Fernandez-Ely signed an arrest warrant. He was initially accused of felony unlawful sexual contact and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, as well as the misdemeanor.
The district attorney’s office later declined to proceed with the felony counts. Instead, prosecutors filed a new case alleging four delinquency of a minor counts.
That was case dismissed Monday. Smith was being held on a $10,000 bond at the jail.
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area today for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.