Judge OKs plea deal in St. Moritz stun-gun case
ASPEN – A former cage fighter pleaded guilty Monday in Pitkin County District Court to one felony count of second-degree assault on a police officer while in custody. As part of a plea agreement, Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin agreed to drop all of the other charges, including six felony counts, against Charles Brandon White.
The 29-year-old White, who currently works at a downtown restaurant, was in court with his Aspen attorney Chip McCrory. White said “I’m guilty” when Judge Gail Nichols asked him why he was entering the plea.
Nichols approved the deal, which comes after lengthy talks between McCrory and Mordkin, who originally filed nine felony counts against White, including four counts of second-degree assault on a police officer and four counts of second-degree assault on a peace officer while in custody.
White was arrested Sept. 13, 2010, at the St. Moritz Lodge in Aspen stemming from an alleged altercation he had with Aspen police who say they were forced to shoot him with Tasers before he was subdued with a paramedic’s injection.
Police say they were reporting to a domestic violence call, and White’s girlfriend told them he had struck her in the face. The two had been living at the St. Moritz for the last month with their two young children, who were in their room with White when police arrived. The alleged victim was outside the lodge, and told police White had a knife.
White originally pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault on a peace officer while in custody, and a trial was set to run Sept. 26-29.
White’s girlfriend had been supportive of him over the months, attending his court hearings and persuading Judge Nichols to allow the two to have contact, albeit on a limited basis.
The judge also agreed to consider allowing White’s sentencing hearing to be held in January so he can spend time with his family on Christmas – a component of the plea deal to which both Mordkin and McCrory had agreed, McCrory told the judge.
“My inclination is to go along with it if you have no new arrests,” Nichols told White. The issue will be revisited Nov. 2, during which time Nichols will set a sentencing date.
White, who’s currently free on bond, faces two years in state prison with 211 days of credit for the time he served in Pitkin County Jail. Or, he could be sentenced to three years in Community Corrections, an alternative to prison that is similar to a halfway house.
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