Three charges were filed against actor Charlie Sheen in Aspen district court on Monday.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin is charging Sheen, 44, with felony menacing, misdemeanor third-degree assault and misdemeanor criminal mischief. Sheen could be sentenced to one to three years in prison if he is convicted of the felony.
Judge James Boyd also agreed to amend a protective order to allow Sheen and his wife, Brooke Mueller Sheen, to have contact with each other. Mueller sat in the front row of the courtroom next to her attorney, Yale Galanter, her mother, her father and a friend.
It was Sheen’s second court appearance in Aspen. His first occurred Christmas Day after Mueller called police to report Sheen put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her during a quarrel that broke out in the wee hours at a West End home they rented.
Judge Boyd reminded Sheen that even though he amended the no-contact portion of the order, other provisions remain intact, namely Sheen still cannot intimidate or harass his wife, consume alcohol or illegal drugs, or possess firearms. The judge instructed him it is important he obey the order or he could be found in contempt.
“Yes sir,” Sheen answered.
Those were the only words Sheen formally said during the brief hearing, other than when Judge Boyd asked his attorney, Richard Cummins of Aspen, whether his client preferred to be called Mr. Estevez — the actor was booked under his birth name Carlos Irwin Estevez — or Mr. Sheen. “Sheen is fine,” he whispered to his attorney.
The judge also asked whether Sheen is undergoing anger management. Cummins answered that Sheen “has taken a number of steps” to ensure he and his family remain safe, and that Sheen is undergoing alcohol counseling. Mueller has said she wants to reconcile with her husband, which is why she joined the request to modify the order. A safety plan has been put in place — details of which were not disclosed — and Galanter said Mueller was “satisfied” with it. He also revealed that Mueller met with the Aspen-based Response, Help For Battered Women organization yesterday morning.
Sheen — dressed in a black blazer, black pants, black-rimmed glasses, black shoes, black tie and a white shirt — was accompanied by his publicist, manager and lawyers. In addition to Cummins, a California-based attorney attended the hearing with Sheen but he did not speak at the hearing nor has he formally entered an appearance with the court.
Mueller and Sheen did not look at each other until the end of the hearing, when they walked over to each other, embraced and exchanged a few brief words. They left the Pitkin County Courthouse separately but were expected to fly to Los Angeles together.
“Brooke’s position is she would like the charges to be dismissed and the case to be over,” Galanter told a throng of news and tabloid reporters after the hearing.
Sheen’s appearance attracted a sizable crowd — there were about 30 people who attended — plus satellite trucks that fed the story to media outlets around the world.
Galanter also called Boyd’s decision to amend the order so Sheen and Mueller can have contact “gracious.” Asked when the couple would live together again, Galanter replied, “like right now. … We all need to let them get on with their lives.”
Sheen, who is the highest-paid actor on TV thanks to the hit sitcom “Two and A Half Men,” has had plenty of drama in his life recently. In addition to his Aspen court case, a thief apparently stole Sheen’s Mercedes Friday and drove it off a cliff near his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. No one was injured in the crash and the thief is at large.
Mueller has had her own tragedy. She was recently hospitalized in California reportedly for a serious infection and then entered rehab in North Carolina to further her recovery.
Sheen and Mueller are the parents of 9-month-old twins.