Suspect in Basalt assault case enters guilty plea
Mufasta Muhammad faces prison sentence of between 7 and 10 years
Mufasta Muhammad formally accepted a plea bargain on Wednesday that could put him in state prison for seven to 10 years for an assault in Basalt last summer.
Muhammad, 24, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, a Class 4 felony that typically would carry a sentence range of two to six years. However, it was considered a crime of violence because a weapon was allegedly used in the attack on another man in a Willits townhouse. That enhances the sentence range to five to 16 years, according to Eagle County District Judge Paul Dunkelman.
The plea bargain stipulated a sentence range of seven to 10 years in prison followed by three years of mandatory parole.
Muhammad and another man, Daniel Wettstein, are accused of holding a man against his will and beating him at the townhouse the suspects shared during a night of partying on the night of Aug. 27. The alleged victim escaped the following morning from the residence after exiting a second-story window onto the roof, calling for help and jumping down.
Police from multiple agencies responded to the scene because of the victim’s report that weapons were in the house. Wettstein surrendered almost immediately. Muhammad surrendered after a SWAT team responded with an armored vehicle.
Muhammad has remained in jail since the incident occurred, unable to pay the $25,000 bond. Wettstein posted bond and is in a treatment center for U.S. military veterans facing addictions.
Muhammad will be sentenced on March 17. His attorney, public defender Kevin Jensen, said Muhammad’s mother and others would speak about his character at the hearing.
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