Local attorney arrested on assault of ex-judge
August 23, 2016
Glenwood Springs attorney and former Garfield County Judge Jason Jovanovich and another local attorney are taking different seats in the courtroom following reports of an assault at the Silver Spruce Inn earlier this month.
Jovanovich was staying at the motel Aug. 12 with Lucette “Lucy” Laffoon, a 39-year-old immigration and criminal defense attorney in Glenwood Springs.
Police were called to the hotel at 2:41 a.m.
Jovanovich, who was visibly in pain, told police in the lobby that Laffoon had assaulted him in their room, according to an affidavit.
A police officer referred to her as Jovanovich’s “partner whom he lived with” in the affidavit. The two attorneys also have adjacent law offices in the same building on Grand Avenue.
In their motel room, Laffoon had hidden his phone, which she does often and without reason, according to the police report.
When he found the phone she “ripped it out of his hands to prevent him from calling anyone,” grabbed the motel phone and tried to hit him in the head with it, he told police.
She started slapping him and trying to bite his arms; she bit his left hand, Jovanovich said. At one point she “hit and or twisted his thumb.”
An X-ray at Valley View Hospital later showed his hand and thumb were severely fractured, which a physician classified as serious bodily injury.
“Jovanovich stated that he thought Laffoon was trying to break his fingers because he plays guitar and she wanted to punish him,” an officer wrote. “There have been previous domestic violence incidents between the two parties. Jovanovich is scared to report anything because Laffoon threatens him.”
Laffoon had driven away in a brown Mercedes, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
She was arrested Aug. 15 on charges of second-degree assault, a class 4 felony, along with third-degree assault, harassment and obstruction of telephone services, which are all misdemeanors. Domestic violence could be considered as a sentence enhancer.
Her bail was set at $3,000, which she posted the next day.
Prosecutors successfully argued on Aug. 16 to also require Laffoon to surrender her passport as a condition of bond. A protection order has been issued in this case with Jovanovich as a protected party, as well as his children.
Judge James Boyd has since recused himself from the case and handed it over to Judge John Neiley. Likewise, the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office has recused itself because the two attorneys are defense counsel in active cases the DA is prosecuting.
The prosecution has moved for a special prosecutor, who Garth McCarty, one of Laffoon’s attorneys, said will likely come out of Mesa County.
Earlier this year Jovanovich received a stayed three-month suspension of his law license after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violation of a protection order, which barred him from contacting an ex-girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to this misdemeanor in February 2015 and received a deferred judgment, pending one year of probation.
The suspension of his law license was also stayed and contingent upon a three-year probation.
Laffoon has no public disciplinary history on file with the state.
The Post Independent could not reach Jovanovich for comment. Laffoon and her attorneys declined to comment.