Jurors still out in trial of manager at Aspen Village | AspenTimes.com

Jurors still out in trial of manager at Aspen Village

Tim Mutrie

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.

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