Man embroiled in attempted murder case wants new defense |

Man embroiled in attempted murder case wants new defense

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The alleged victim in an attempted murder case, facing his own harassment and menacing charges, is interested in representing himself in court.

Martin Arroyo, 37, told Judge James Boyd of the 9th District Court that he doesn’t want to be represented by public defenders James Conway or Jamie Roth because he feels a conflict of interest exists from interactions during previous cases.

Arroyo was slated to be arraigned Monday after being arrested at the end of July. His ex-girlfriend, Pam Branson, told police he went on a rampage in her Aspen home, breaking things and yelling at her.

But Arroyo does not yet have an attorney, and told the court that during a previous bond revocation hearing, he was “forced to plea guilty to a crime I didn’t commit.”

Arroyo is in custody at the Pitkin County Jail. He said he does not have much access to a telephone to find another attorney, and he might not have the funds to use an attorney who is not court appointed.

“Conway is not right for me, and if that’s my only choice, I should represent myself,” he said. “I will not be fairly represented by that man.”

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He told the court he was also not happy with the way Jamie Roth handled one of his cases in the past, and he requested more time to find an attorney.

Judge Boyd asked Arroyo to fill out forms to determine if he qualifies for a court-appointed attorney. He said Arroyo does qualify, and if a conflict of interest is found, the judge will probably appoint another attorney.

Donald Branson faces an attempted murder charge for allegedly trying to cut Arroyo’s throat with a knife. Branson was arrested in April after Arroyo told police Branson drove him to a remote location near Old Snowmass and attacked him.

Branson is free on $150,000 bond, but Boyd recently ruled he could be tried for assault and bond violation charges, in addition to the attempted murder charge.

Arroyo’s arraignment and search for an attorney was continued to next Monday.

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