Conor Kennedy pleads guilty in Aspen bar fight

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

The grandson of Robert F. Kennedy pleaded guilty Wednesday to disorderly conduct in relation to an early-morning fight outside an Aspen bar in December.

Conor Kennedy, 22, was not required to appear in Aspen Municipal Court to enter the plea Wednesday morning, said Assistant City Attorney Andrea Bryan.

Aspen attorney Ryan Kalamaya appeared on Kennedy’s behalf and said his client was defending a friend outside the Bootsy Bellows nightclub before he was arrested. Kennedy and his family declined to comment further on the case, Kalamaya said.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Kennedy was given a six-month deferred sentence, meaning the plea will be wiped from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next six months, Bryan said. Kennedy also was required to write a letter of apology to the victim in the case, pay a $500 fine plus $35 in court costs, and refrain from alcohol and other drugs for the six-month period, she said.

Kennedy’s case was treated the same as any other disorderly conduct case and he did not receive special treatment, Bryan said. Ninety percent of Municipal Court cases end with plea deals, she said.

Kennedy was arrested Dec. 29 after an Aspen police officer saw him grab another man by his shirt, pull him down so he was bent over and punch him four or five times in the back of his head with his fists, police have said. The officer tried to break up the fight, which occurred outside and across the street from the bar, but Kennedy allegedly continued trying to fight the man, and he and the officer ended up on the ground in the snow.

None of the three people involved was injured.

Kennedy later apologized to the officer and said the man he was fighting called Kennedy’s friend “the f-word,” according to a police report. At the time, it wasn’t clear which f-word Kennedy was referring to.

In a subsequent interview with The Aspen Times, Robert Kennedy Jr., Conor Kennedy’s father, said the alleged victim in the case was one of the two men who bullied his son’s gay friend by referring to him with a homophobic slur.

Robert Kennedy also said the alleged victim in the fight took the first swing at his son.

“Conor has always reacted against bullying,” Robert Kennedy said in December. “I’m happy he stood up for his friend.”

The victim in the case did not want to press charges against Conor Kennedy and, in fact, told police he thought he was a nice guy, Kalamaya said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.