Sheen’s attorney trying to avoid ‘media circus’ in Aspen
ASPEN – There will be limited public access to the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen on Wednesday, when Charlie Sheen and his wife are scheduled to appear in his domestic violence case.
Sheen and his wife, Brooke Sheen, are expected to be present for a motions hearing seeking to lift the protection order prohibiting them from having contact with each other.
Local officials are preparing for significant media and community interest in the case, and say the 120-year-old courthouse isn’t designed to accommodate crowds. Admittance to the courthouse will be restricted, the Aspen Police Department said in a press release Thursday.
In a memo to the Pitkin County Clerk’s Office on Wednesday, Sheen’s Aspen attorney, Boyd Cummins, suggested that only one reporter be allowed in the courtroom and then “pool,” or share, the information to other media outlets.
The couple obviously does not “wish this to be a media circus and would as much as possible like their privacy respected, understanding that they are celebrity figures so there is a public interest and the necessity of media coverage,” Cummins wrote.
Sheen’s hearing will be limited to 60 people, the maximum for the city’s fire code. The county court’s capacity will be limited, and the general public won’t be allowed in the courthouse without a legitimate reason, according to the police department press release.
The ratio of general public to press seats is yet to be determined and will be at the discretion of Judge James Boyd of the Ninth Judicial District Court. General public seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Press member seats will be available by lottery.
Earlier this week, a motion was filed by KUSA-TV, a Denver-based NBC affiliate, seeking authority to use a television camera in the Aspen courtroom. KUSA was the first media outlet to formally seek expanded media coverage in the Sheen case.
KUSA’s motion says that it would broadcast the proceedings at a location outside the courthouse, meaning the press would not have to attend the hearing in person.
To gain entry inside the courtroom attendees must leave all bags outside the courthouse building and must pass through a metal detector. The approval of video or camera equipment is yet to be determined and will be at the discretion of Boyd, according to the press release.
The Galena Street Circle, just outside the Pitkin County Courthouse, will be closed to through traffic and general parking. Satellite truck parking will be available by a lottery held Monday.
Sheen was arrested in Aspen on Christmas Day on allegations of felony menacing, domestic violence and other charges. Brooke Sheen told police he put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. Sheen denies the accusations.
The 44-year-old actor stars in “Two and a Half Men” on CBS.
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Social media sites exploded with activity on Monday night as locals posted pictures of a mushroom cloud formation visible from most of Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties.