Man gets deferred sentence for fight at Aspen bar
ASPEN – A local man who faced up to 16 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder in Aspen won’t spend any time behind bars if he keeps his act clean for the next year.
The plea agreement for Mark Joseph Montijo, 38, resulted in guilty pleas to felony menacing and disorderly conduct, which were both deferred for one year. In exchange, the attempted murder charge was dropped.
At his sentencing hearing Monday in Pitkin County District Court, Montijo was ordered by Judge James Boyd to undergo evaluations for substance and alcohol abuse, as well as anger management.
Montijo also must perform 80 hours of public service, pay a $750 fine, and pay restitution and write a letter to the two victims of a brawl at Eric’s Bar in Aspen, in May. He also was sentenced to three months in county jail, but Boyd suspended that punishment on the grounds that Montijo not commit any criminal acts for the next year.
Montijo said he acted in self defense, and his attorney, Lawson Wills, claimed he struck both men because they had provoked him. The two men, Wills said, had accused Montijo of stealing one of their wallets, which was later found at the J-Bar.
One of the victims testified that Montijo hurt him so badly that he now suffers from a form of vertigo, which has caused him to miss work and suffer financially. The victim said he’s had to refinance his Basalt townhouse and his wife now works seven days a week.
“This is a serious crime that has serious consequences for my family for the rest of my life,” he said.
In a brief statement, Montijo said he felt threatened and “I felt like I was going to be attacked.”
He later turned to the victim and said, “It was never my intent to cause you any injury, but I did act in self defense.”
Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin originally charged Montijo with attempted second-degree murder. Mordkin’s reasoning was that Montijo kicked one of the victims in the head after flooring him with a punch.
Wills admitted that Montijo erred when he kicked the man, but asked for leniency and a one-year deferred judgment nonetheless.
Judge Boyd obliged, but reminded Montijo that he had a prior “history of getting into this kind of trouble” and needed to be accountable for his actions.
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
Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jacob Best encountered one of the most unique situations he’s seen in 15 years of duty Friday in a high-speed horse pursuit on Interstate 70 near Eagle. The horses escaped from the nearby Eagle County Fairgrounds.