Carolyn Sackariason
Aspen Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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December 29, 2009
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Sheen wasn't given preferential treatment, DA says

ASPEN, Colorado - Actor Charlie Sheen did not receive preferential treatment when he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence Christmas morning and was able to bond out that same day, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin.

Defendants in domestic-violence cases are required to be brought before a judicial officer within 48 hours if he or she is taken into custody with a warrantless arrest. A person can bail out but that also requires contact with a judge, Mordkin said Monday.

Handling the matter Friday evening, Dec. 25, was better timing than over the weekend, Mordkin said, as well as the fact that District Judge James Boyd was willing to preside over a telephone conference during a brief hearing held that day. Otherwise, the hearing would have had to occur either Saturday or Sunday.

"Christmas Day isn't that meaningful to me," said Mordkin, adding that he had other plans over the weekend, including skiing. "It's not because it was Mr. Estevez. ... The side benefit for him was that he got out."

Sheen, 44, whose real name is Carlos Irwin Estevez, faces a class-four felony charge of second-degree assault, a class-five felony charge of menacing and a domestic violence count, according to an affidavit filed Monday by Rick Magnuson, the arresting officer. Sheen also faces the charge of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.

Mordkin said he didn't want to jeopardize the case by delaying Sheen's right to get in front of a judge within 48 hours, according to the law.

"I don't want to lose the case because we're too lazy to do our jobs," he said. "And it was more convenient for me to do it that day."

Boyd issued a mandatory protection order against Sheen, prohibiting him from having contact with his wife, Brooke Mueller Sheen. Sheen's bond was set at $8,500. He bonded out after 6 p.m. and was scheduled to fly home to Los Angeles later that evening.

The Aspen Police Department on Monday released the 911 tape in which Mueller told an emergency dispatcher that Sheen threatened her with a switch-blade knife and that she feared for her life.

The call was made at 8:34 a.m. and lasted about four minutes. The call ended when police arrived at the scene, a single-family home located at 320 W. Hallam St. Sheen and Mueller had rented the property in the West End neighborhood.

Authorities haven't identified the accuser, but the woman on the 911 call said her name is Brooke and that her husband is Charlie Sheen. Sheen is married to Brooke Mueller Sheen.

The woman can be heard crying and sometimes her words are inaudible. At one point she says, "My husband had me (inaudible) with, um, with a knife, and (inaudible) he threatened me." Later, she says, "I thought I was gonna die for one hour."

Although clearly upset, Mueller appeared focused during the call - on four occasions she told the dispatcher that she needed to file the report against her husband.

The two were still in the house together but were in separate rooms. She said she was with family members in the kitchen, and he was in the back of the house with an unidentified woman, according to the tape.

Police entered the house and arrested Sheen. He was taken to the Pitkin County Jail, where he spent most of Christmas Day.

According to the affidavit, Magnuson interviewed Sheen in the home's basement. Sheen told Magnuson that he and Mueller have had marital problems lately and that the latest argument began at 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, according to the affidavit.

Sheen said the argument escalated when Mueller threatened to divorce him and would seek custody of their two children. Apparently the catalyst of the argument began when he shared a song for his daughter, whom he fathered with another woman, according to the affidavit.

Aspen police officer Valerie McFarlane interviewed Mueller. Sheen became enraged after she told him she wanted a divorce and would seek custody of the children, according to Mueller's statement to McFarlane in the affidavit.

Mueller said Sheen grabbed her by the upper part of the throat while straddling her on the bed in the upstairs bedroom, according to the affidavit. He then allegedly held the knife to her throat and threatened to have her killed by ex-police officers he could hire "who can get the job done" if she told anyone about the altercation.

Mueller said she was able to get Sheen off of her by agreeing with him and saying she loved him, according to the affidavit.

Sheen denied pushing, striking, strangling or threatening Mueller with a knife but that both of them had slapped each other on the arms during the course of the verbal altercation.

He also told Magnuson that he broke two pairs of Mueller's eyeglasses in front of her, according to the affidavit.

Sheen then showed Magnuson his folding knife, which was located in his travel bag near the upstairs bedroom.

The affidavit says the knife had a 4-inch blade, and was in the locked and open position.

Magnuson said he observed red marks on Mueller's neck, which she said were caused by Sheen holding her down on the bed.

An ambulance was sent to the house but police say no one was taken to the hospital.

The affidavit says nothing about whether alcohol was involved.

Sheen's next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 8.

He currently stars in the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," and is the highest-paid TV actor, earning $850,000 per episode, according to TV Guide.

He has been married three times. The divorce with his second wife, Denise Richards, involved a bitter custody battle over their two daughters, but they reportedly made peace.

Sheen has five children from previous relationships and marriages.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

csack@aspentimes.com


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The Post Independent Updated Dec 29, 2009 01:59AM Published Dec 29, 2009 01:58AM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.