Mueller enlists Sheen’s lawyer in Aspen cocaine case
December 6, 2011
ASPEN – Aspen criminal-defense attorney Richard Cummins on Monday entered his appearance for celebrity Brooke Mueller, who was arrested outside of a downtown nightclub Saturday on cocaine and assault charges. Cummins also was a member of actor Charlie Sheen’s defense team for his Christmas Day 2009 domestic violence case involving Mueller, who was his wife at the time of the incident.
Cummins said Mueller, 34, waived any potential conflict concerning his representation of Sheen.
“She was the victim in the crime in which I represented [Sheen],” Cummins said. “But it’s not that unusual that the victim and defendant work together on a domestic violence case.”
Mueller’s attorney in the Sheen case, Yale Galanter, also will likely enter his appearance in the current case.
Both Galanter and Cummins met with prosecutor Arnold Mordkin on Monday, in private. Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols also approved a motion, filed Monday by Cummins, allowing her to travel back to her home in Los Angeles. Mueller’s mother owns a home in Aspen.
Currently free on $11,000 bond, Mueller is scheduled to appear in Pitkin County District Court for advisement of the charges on Dec. 19. Mordkin has said he will likely file two counts: class-four felony charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and third-degree assault, a class-one misdemeanor.
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Aspen Police Department on Monday would not release the arrest report from Saturday’s incident because the case remains under investigation. Police also are not required to file an affidavit in support of a warrantless arrest – which was the case with Mueller – because she has already posted bond.
Neither Mueller’s attorney nor Mordkin are discussing facts of the case publicly. Cummins said he has yet to review the evidence, and Mordkin would only say Monday that the amount of cocaine Mueller allegedly had was more than 4 grams but less than 5 grams.
Mueller was arrested outside of the bar for assault, after a Belly Up Aspen patron told police officers, who were doing a walk-through of the live-performance venue, she had been assaulted by Sheen’s ex-wife.
Officers tracked Mueller down at the Escobar dance club and, during a pat-down, found one package of cocaine on her person, authorities said. Galanter and Cummins declined to discuss whether they would legally contest police methods used in the search.
Typically first-time drug offenders in Pitkin County are given deferred judgments, provided they show a willingness to undergo some type of rehabilitation or substance-abuse counseling. Mordkin would not say if that option is on the table, but said Mueller’s criminal history, if there is one, could come into play. Mueller, according to reports, was arrested for DUI in 1996 and cocaine possession in 2001. Both cases were dropped.
“Our goal in this case is to see that Brooke receives the help and support she needs,” Cummins said.
Mueller has a history of substance-abuse issues, and most recently underwent treatment in July, according to published reports. She has no criminal record in Colorado.
She and Sheen married in May 2008 and divorced in May; they have twin sons, Bob and Max. Cummins said both the mother and father, whose custody arrangement for the children is confidential, “are presenting a united front on the children.” Mueller was with the twins on Monday, Cummins said.
Mueller’s arrest comes nearly two years after Aspen made headlines on Christmas Day in 2009. That’s when Aspen police arrested Sheen at the West End home the couple was renting on an alleged domestic dispute with Mueller. Mordkin prosecuted Sheen for the assault on his ex-wife. Sheen, the former star of the hit CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in an agreement with the Pitkin County District Attorney’s Office in exchange for the dismissal of felony charges of menacing and criminal mischief.
He was ordered to undergo 36 hours of anger management and serve 30 days of probation and agreed to enter a 30-day rehabilitation program.
Celebrity news website TMZ, meanwhile, obtained and posted video footage of Mueller dancing at the Hyman Avenue nightclub Escobar, just moments before her arrest. The video’s release came to the surprise of attorneys on both sides of the case, who said they would prefer the Mueller arrest doesn’t escalate into the same type of media circus seen in Sheen’s run-in with the law here.