A man convicted of two crimes related to a melee in the North Forty neighborhood will serve two-and-a-half years in prison.
Kevin A. Gibson was handed a 30-month sentence for criminal trespass, nine months in county jail for third-degree assault and one year in prison for cocaine possession on Monday. All three terms will run concurrently.
In June, Gibson went into his girlfriend’s house and attacked her and other friends there. He punched her and another man in the face, threw a crack pipe at a man and knocked another woman down the stairs. The others fled while his girlfriend ran to a neighboring apartment. Gibson followed her there, knocked down the door and punched the resident.
At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Judge James Boyd pointed out that, in all, six people were victimized during the incident.
In December, hours after he entered a guilty plea for the assault and trespass, two Aspen police officers saw Gibson cutting lines of cocaine on the toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom of Bentley’s at the Wheeler. A subsequent drug test found no evidence that he had actually used the cocaine.
Because Gibson has three previous felony convictions, he was denied probation.
Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols pointed out that Gibson had a history of noncompliance with the terms of previous probations.
“He shows a lack of respect for authority figures directing him to do things he does not want to do,” Nichols said.
In their presentencing report, the prosecution recommended the maximum sentence of three years in prison for criminal trespassing, plus 18 months for third-degree assault. They recommended another 18 months for the cocaine charge.
“I didn’t attempt to hurt anybody,” Gibson said before his sentencing. “I wanted to scare them off and get them away from (my girlfriend).”
His attorneys, John Van Ness and Lauren Maytin, portrayed Gibson’s violence and substance abuse as the result of severe insomnia and post traumatic stress syndrome caused by his time in the U.S. Army Special Forces.
“He got out of the service and had a hard time putting his training behind him,” Van Ness said.
In other district court news
— Airline pilot James R. Clifton pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for forcing a New Year’s kiss on a woman at the Inn at Aspen in the early morning of Jan. 1, 2007.
Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols called the incident “a New Year’s Eve celebration gone amok because of too much drinking.”
Clifton’s attorney, Greg Greer, pointed out that the victim’s boyfriend beat Clifton severely after the incident, hospitalizing him.
“There has already been punishment,” Greer said.
Judge Boyd sentenced Clifton to three years of unsupervised probation.
— A man who crashed his car in front of the Hotel Jerome while high on hash was given a two-year deferred judgment for felony possession of marijuana concentrate.
For driving under the influence of drugs, Karl Jolles will serve 48 hours of community service, pay a $300 fine and serve two years of probation.
“I’ll try my best to mend my ways,” Jolles said.