Felony charge filed against Sheen; order barring contact with wife lifted

ASPEN — Freed from an order barring contact with her, Charlie Sheen warmly hugged his wife following brief proceedings in the Pitkin County Courthouse on Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors on Monday also brought formal charges against the actor, including a felony menacing count, in connection with his Christmas Day domestic violence arrest in Aspen.

If convicted of the charge, Sheen would face a presumptive prison sentence of one to three years, along with two years of mandatory parole. He also has been charged with misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault and criminal mischief. Through his attorney, Sheen waived his right to be advised of the charges against him.

Ninth Judicial District Judge James Boyd lifted the no-contact order at the request of both Sheen and his wife. Prosecutor Arnold Mordkin did not oppose the move, which was conditional upon having a safety plan in place for Brooke Mueller Sheen.

Other aspects of a restraining order against Sheen, such as prohibitions against harassing his wife or possessing or consuming alcohol, remain in effect, and Boyd warned Sheen that it’s important for him to follow the terms of the revised order or he could face further charges.

“Yes sir,” Sheen told the judge, vigorously nodding his head as he spoke.

Sheen wore a white dress shirt, dark suit jacket and tie, and black-framed glasses to Monday’s proceedings, and he looked attentively toward Boyd. His wife sat beside her attorney, Yale Galanter, in the courtroom’s front row. Galanter told reporters later the couple would be flying home together from Aspen.

Sheen is due back in court March 15 for further proceedings.

The actor is accused of pinning his wife to a bed and threatening her with a knife while they were in Aspen over the holidays.

Galanter said the family’s preference is that they be allowed to deal with the incident as a private matter rather than a criminal case. However, he also said there’s no truth to media reports that Brooke Mueller Sheen had recanted her story about the events that led to Sheen’s arrest.

In an interview, Mordkin said it’s not uncommon for couples to try to work things out in domestic violence cases, but that doesn’t affect prosecution of such cases, even if the accuser should refuse to testify.

“That aspect doesn’t mean a lot,” he said, emphasizing that he was commenting on such cases in general, and not specifically about the Sheen case.

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