Hecht ordered to take sobriety tests
October 14, 2015
A prominent Aspen developer and landlord will be monitored for drug and alcohol use while a domestic-violence case proceeds against him in Pitkin County Court, a judge ruled Tuesday.
The 31-year-old accuser in the case, who was romantically involved with Nikos Hecht, 45, from October 2014 until July 26, urged Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely to order the testing "for the protection of myself, my family and others." The woman has since moved out of state and appeared at Tuesday's hearing by phone.
"I don't think the defendant is above the law," the woman said.
Pamela Mackey, Hecht's attorney, attempted to convince the judge not to order the sobriety monitoring by pointing out possible inaccuracies in an affidavit the accuser filed last week. Mackey, a Denver attorney who defended NBA star Kobe Bryant against rape charges in Eagle County in 2004 — charges that were eventually dropped — also said there was no need for the monitoring because the accuser has moved out of state.
The case against Hecht began at 4:37 a.m. on July 26 when Pitkin County dispatchers received a 911 call from his home in the 600 block of Owl Creek Ranch Road. They called back, but Hecht told them he'd been trying to call back the alarm company and there was no problem, according to court documents.
However, according to Pitkin County sheriff's deputies, the accuser later told them that she had made the 911 call after a conflict with Hecht during which she said he had threatened to kill her parents if she called police. She told deputies she had tried to leave the house but that Hecht wouldn't let her and pushed her to the ground, causing her to hit her head, documents state.
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A friend of the woman's also gave deputies a cellphone video that was recorded from a pocket, providing audio recording of the incident. On it, according to court documents, Hecht can be heard threatening to cut the accuser, followed by a commotion and the woman begging Hecht to stop and not hurt her.
But a day after she spoke to deputies, the accuser changed her story and said nothing criminal had occurred, according to court documents.
Then a week ago, the accuser changed her story again, filing an affidavit that contains many more serious allegations about Hecht.
She described him as "violent, aggressive, explosive, vicious, erratic and out of control" and said he's addicted to cocaine and synthetic heroin, according to the affidavit. Hecht was in the midst of a five-day "non-stop cocaine and synthetic heroin binge" when the July 26 call to 911 dispatchers occurred, she said in the affidavit.
In addition, she said Hecht "talks about killing and physically harming people," threatened to kill her and her mother and used his brother's urine to pass drug tests during his divorce so he could see his children, the affidavit states.
On Tuesday, Mackey told Fernandez-Ely that Hecht was indeed monitored for sobriety so he could see his children during the divorce proceeding. However, Mackey said Hecht's brother "assures me he never provided urine whatsoever" and offered to have him come to court and testify to that point.
Fernandez-Ely said it wasn't necessary.
Prosecutor Michael Warren offered to corroborate the accuser's allegations that Hecht is a drug abuser, though he suggested the corroboration be done at the judge's bench out of earshot of those in the courtroom. Warren and Mackey spent about 10 minutes discussing the matter at the judge's bench.
Warren later declined to comment on what he told the judge, saying in an email that "everyone deserves a fair trial."
Mackey also declined to comment after Tuesday's hearing.
Fernandez-Ely told Mackey that in making her ruling, she was relying on the accuser's affidavit as well as "the underlying issues" in Hecht's arrest warrant, including the early morning hour in which the July 26 incident occurred, the type of activity alleged and the fact that Hecht actually was under sobriety monitoring during his divorce.
She ruled that he will have to enter into a sobriety-monitoring contract with a local organization, and if he violates the contract, it will be considered a violation of his bond conditions.
Hecht is charged with third-degree assault, harassment and menacing. He is free on a $1,000 bond due back in court Dec. 1.
Hecht and his father, Aspen attorney Andy Hecht, own a number of Aspen commercial properties.