`Standing man’ to serve jail sentence | AspenTimes.com

`Standing man’ to serve jail sentence

Tim Mutrie

John Brian Hammond, better known locally as “Standing Man,” was found guilty of disorderly conduct by Judge Tam Scott in Pitkin County Court Wednesday.

The conviction stems from a Nov. 25 incident at Clark’s Market in Aspen.

Hammond, who was acquitted on a trespassing charge by Judge Scott, was sentenced to 60 days in jail, due to a prior conviction. In September 1998, Hammond received a 60-day suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to third-degree criminal trespass. The suspended sentence stipulated that if Hammond incurred any other violations, he would go to jail.

Hammond protested the sentence, asking for work release because of his two jobs, he said. But Judge Scott denied the request and instead ordered him to perform useful public service during the day, at the recommendation of Pitkin County Jail supervisor Billy Tomb.

“I stress the word useful,” Tomb said.

Judge Scott said Hammond could come back before him next week to discuss the possibility of work release.

Four witnesses were called by prosecutor Bill Hodges, including two Aspen police officers and two employees of Clark’s Market.

Lian Chong, a checker at Clark’s, said on the morning of Nov. 25, Hammond was in the vicinity of the grocery store “yelling” at customers and passersby and gesticulating. Several customers were made to feel “uncomfortable” by Hammond’s antics and complained about it to her, Chong said.

When given an opportunity to cross examine Chong, Hammond, who represented himself, said “I could rip her testimony right to pieces right now if you want.” However, Hammond did not ask Chong any direct questions.

Officer Brian Heeney testified that when he contacted Hammond on Nov. 25, he did not intend to arrest him. However, when Hammond became rude and uncooperative, Heeney said he was left with little choice.

“The arrest was pretty much a last resort,” he said.

“Their stories are shoddy,” said Hammond of the witnesses’ testimonies. “Besides, there are a lot of people in this town that don’t like me and maybe made it up.”

Hammond said he was in and around Clark’s on Nov. 25 for about “ten minutes,” and was generally minding his own business all the while until the police arrived.

Hammond was also ordered to pay court costs totaling $18.

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