Suspect’s attorney in juvenile case: DA has ‘not one shred’ of evidence |

Suspect’s attorney in juvenile case: DA has ‘not one shred’ of evidence

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The attorney for an Aspen man accused of multiple felonies said the case against his client should not proceed because there was no direct evidence linking his client to the alleged misdeeds.

“Not one shred,” public defender Stephen McCrohan said on Monday.

He said the case against Landin Smith, 44, was based on hearsay. Smith is accused of four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Each count reflects an incident in which Smith allegedly supplied alcohol to a 15-year-old girl in February.

The minor did not testify at the hearing, although prosecutors introduced video- and audio-taped interviews from her about the incidents. The Aspen Times is not naming the alleged victim because she is a minor.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin also relied on testimony from Aspen police Detective Matt Burg at the hearing. Burg said the minor stated during an interview that Smith supplied her with alcohol and he knew how old she was at the time.

Smith will have to wait two weeks before finding out whether he will stand trial. Judge James Boyd declined to rule on the matter at a preliminary hearing Monday in Pitkin County District Court.

Aspen police took Smith into custody on March 25 shortly after Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely signed a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested for another alleged incident with the same youth, with that event happening in the vicinity of Rubey Park in downtown Aspen.

Smith faces up to 24 years in prison if convicted as charged. Smith is set to next appear in district court June 15. He was being held on $10,000 bond at the Pitkin County jail.

In other court-related issues, prosecutors filed charges against Christopher Melendez II. He is accused of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree burglary.

He was arrested May 22 a few hours after he allegedly attempted to choke a woman at her Aspen apartment following a film wrap party.

Each count carries a potential prison term of 10 to 32 years, based on state sentencing guidelines. Melendez, 30, is to next appear in court June 15. He was being held on $45,000 bond at the jail.

In another matter, Dandy Vickery turned down a plea offer that called for him to serve about 18 years in state prison, according to defense attorney Kathy Goudy. That led to a preliminary hearing being set for June 24 in district court.

Vickery, of Aspen, is charged with 20 felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and seven counts of unlawful sexual contact for allegedly providing liquor to the youth and making sexual advances toward her. The unlawful sexual contact allegations are misdemeanors.

Vickery, 46, also faces three habitual criminal counts, which stem from incidents in Utah and Washington. The counts are a result of felony convictions in 1991, 1992 and 2002, court records show. If convicted, he would face hundreds of years in prison because the prior felonies trigger sentencing enhancements.

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