Suspect’s latest beating charge may not stand
For the second time in two years, Russell Thompson claims he wasn’t responsible for a brutal beating of a friend – and this time the district attorney might believe him.Thompson is accused of two beatings, one of them fatal. The Eagle County District Attorney’s office has charged him with manslaughter for the beating of his friend, Timothy “Chico” Destromp, at an El Jebel apartment where they were drinking in February 2001.While out on bail and awaiting trial, Thompson was arrested last month in Colorado Springs on charges that he beat his girlfriend, breaking some of her ribs.While he was able to post $2,000 bail and get out of the El Paso County Jail for the Colorado Springs incident, the Eagle County district attorney had him arrested for violating conditions of his bond in the manslaughter case.Thompson, 41, is being held in Eagle County Jail on $200,000 bond.However, at a hearing yesterday Eagle County Deputy District Attorney Arly Miner said she would consider dropping the charge that he violated bond pending an investigation of the Colorado Springs incident by an Eagle County sheriff’s investigator. Thompson maintained in Eagle County District Court yesterday that he was innocent of beating his girlfriend on Aug. 6 as alleged. Miner told Judge Richard Hart that she had learned enough about the case that her “interest is piqued.” She wouldn’t disclose that information but said a detective will take the names and telephone numbers of witnesses who could corroborate Thompson’s story.It was unclear whether or not the Colorado Springs Police Department checked Thompson’s side of the story before charging him with assault and menacing.Miner said if the charges against Thompson in the Colorado Springs case aren’t legitimate, she would move swiftly to have him released from jail.Thompson’s sister, Diana “Deedee” Young, told The Aspen Times last month that Thompson was at work and nowhere near his ex-girlfriend at the time she alleges he beat her. That story, Young claimed, can be verified by Thompson’s landlord, whom he was helping with carpentry projects, and a neighbor.Young claimed Thompson’s ex-girlfriend, Lisa A. Milloy, concocted the story out of revenge because Thompson had dumped her.A Colorado Springs police report on the incident said Thompson told the arresting officers that they were making a “big mistake” and that Milloy would recant the story. So far, that hasn’t happened.While the Colorado Springs incident remains up in the air, Thompson’s defense in the manslaughter trial received a boost yesterday when the public defender’s office determined it could accept his case.Thompson had been defending himself because the public defender’s office determined he didn’t qualify for representation at the state’s expense. But because he has been indigent while in jail, the office decided it could accept the case, according to Ken Barker, an attorney with the public defender’s office.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is email@example.com.
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It might be public service serving on Aspen City Council but it doesn’t pay enough, the majority of electeds say. That’s why they are proposing to give their successors a $12,000 raise.