Jurors still out in trial of manager at Aspen Village
Jurors in the criminal case against Aspen Village manager Thomas Bruening did not reach a verdict after more than two hours of deliberations Thursday afternoon.
They will resume deliberations today.
Bruening is charged with second-degree burglary, a felony; first-degree criminal trespass, a felony; and attempted theft, a misdemeanor; for allegedly breaking into the Lindahl family home in Aspen Village on Nov. 16, 1998. He took the stand in 9th Judicial District Court Thursday.
Bruening’s version of the events in question on Nov. 16 did not jibe with testimony offered earlier in the week by witnesses for the prosecution.
Bruening said he went to the Lindahl residence the morning of Nov. 16 to retrieve a tool that belonged to Aspen Village. After no one answered his knocks at the front door, he went around to a sliding glass door nearby and knocked, he said. Peering in, he testified that he saw the Lindahl’s 7-year-old daughter inside.
“I saw her looking at me,” he said. “After we made eye contact, and after I had knocked, I grabbed the door handle and slid it open,” Bruening said under oath Thursday.
“We [the Lindahls and Bruening] were not the best of friends at anytime,” Bruening said later, but he said he and the Lindahl girl were on a first-name basis.
Once the door was open, Bruening said he said exchanged greetings with the girl, as he simultaneously set foot inside the house.
“She asked me what I was doing, and I asked her if her mother was home and then I asked her what she was doing home,” Bruening said.
Bruening said he then told the girl to have her mom call him when she returned.
The opposing version of events alleges that Bruening used a screwdriver or similar tool to open the sliding-glass door and that he then entered the home and picked up a bottle of prescription medication from the kitchen counter before he was confronted by the Lindahl’s daughter, who was home from school with a fever.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Lift-Up has helped feed hungry families in the Roaring Fork Valley for 38 years, but experienced in a surge in demand this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is making changes to meet the demand and address allegations of incidents of discrimination.