Police arrest alleged victim in attempted murder case
Aspen Times Staff Writer
The alleged victim in an attempted murder case was arrested Thursday after his girlfriend told police he went on a rampage in her Aspen home.
Martin Arroyo, 37, is charged with harassment, menacing and criminal mischief. Police arrested him after his girlfriend, Pamela Branson, said he was “going ballistic” and breaking things at her house.
Donald Branson, Pamela Branson’s ex-husband, faces a first-degree attempted murder charge for allegedly trying to kill Arroyo. In April Arroyo told police Branson, 56, drove him to a remote location in the Old Snowmass area and attacked him, making a deep cut beneath Arroyo’s chin with a knife.
Branson’s trial can proceed, a judge ruled Thursday after a preliminary hearing. Branson is free on $150,000 bond.
His attorney, Denver-based Gary Lozow, has questioned Arroyo’s credibility as a witness in the past, particularly when Arroyo faced harassment and domestic violence-related charges earlier this year in Glenwood Springs.
According to Arroyo’s arrest affidavit, Pamela Branson, 46, told police that Arroyo has been living with her at a house on East Cooper Street since they began their relationship in April. She said on July 27 she asked him to move out, and he began sleeping on the couch in the living room but wouldn’t leave until Aug. 3.
Pamela Branson told police she and Arroyo began arguing on Thursday afternoon, and he pinned her against the refrigerator in the kitchen and yelled at her, calling her a “f–ing c–” and saying that she “won’t be around for long.”
Branson told police she wasn’t physically harmed, but said feared for her life. She said Arroyo began throwing and breaking items in the house, and she left to report the incident at the Pitkin County courthouse.
Arroyo was arrested at the residence after Branson spoke with police. According to the affidavit, Branson turned toward her when he was being handcuffed and yelled, “Whore, whore whore! I’ll f–ing kill you, you f–ing c–!” When asked if he had any weapons, Arroyo allegedly said, “If I did I would have already used them.”
When Arroyo was booked into the Pitkin County Jail and told that he was being charged with criminal mischief for the broken items, Arroyo allegedly told police “Don Branson” had broken those things.
Arroyo was being held in the jail on $5,500 bond. Pamela Branson told police Arroyo had broken around $7,000 worth of things, including a television, a computer, two vacuum cleaners and a desk. She said all of the items were hers.
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