Man pleads guilty to assaulting Aspen officer
November 3, 2009
ASPEN – An Aspen man Monday pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer, and will likely face four years in prison.
Landin Smith was charged with felony assault stemming from an Aug. 13 incident with two Aspen police officers when he kicked them as they attempted to arrest him for being under the influence of alcohol, a violation of his bond in another case.
As part of Smith’s plea bargain, two other cases against him – unlawful sexual contact involving a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor – were dismissed.
Ninth Judicial District Judge James Boyd informed Smith he could face as much as 12 years in prison, three years of parole and as much as $500,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7.
Smith appeared confused when asked by Boyd whether he understood the ramifications of pleading guilty. Smith asked the court to allow him to confer with his attorney, public defender Stephen McCrohan, before submitting his plea. Later in the day, Smith eventually admitted that he was guilty but doesn’t recall committing the crime.
“I have been told that I committed this offense but I was completely blacked out on alcohol,” he said.
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According to previous court testimony, Aspen Police Sgt. Rob Fabrocini said when he initially approached Smith at the park, he would not say whether he had been drinking when asked. When Fabrocini told Smith he was under arrest for drinking, which was a violation of his bail bond condition, Smith became hostile with the arresting officers, Leon Murray and Chance Williams, according to Fabrocini’s testimony.
A scuffle ensued, with Smith kicking, yelling and swearing at the officers, Fabrocini said. Fabrocini testified that Smith kicked him in the thigh and tried to bite him when the suspect was placed in the patrol vehicle.
Williams suffered three broken foot bones.