Charlie Sheen and his wife were reunited Monday after a judge modified a restraining order and allowed them them to work out their differences following a Christmas Day domestic violence dispute in which the actor allegedly pinned his spouse on a bed with a knife to her throat.
The couple hugged in court, and Brooke Mueller Sheen’s attorney, Yale Galanter, said they hugged again and kissed in the basement of the 19th century Pitkin County Courthouse after the brief hearing before leaving in separate vehicles. They planned to fly out of Aspen together, and Galanter said he has asked prosecutors to drop the case.
“I can tell you, Brooke very badly wanted to have contact with Charlie,” Galanter said. “There are many children’s issues that she wanted to communicate with him about. ... They have two gorgeous beautiful babies together.
“Brooke would like this case to be over and charges dismissed so they can get on with their lives.”
Charlie Sheen is accused of holding a knife to his wife’s throat and threatening to kill her on Dec. 25 at his Aspen home. Prosecutors charged TV’s “Two and a Half Men” star with felony menacing and misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault and criminal mischief. The most serious charge carries a maximum three-year prison term. Sheen did not enter a plea Monday and is due back in court March 15.
Asked about District Attorney Arnold Mordkin’s reaction to the suggestion that the case be dropped, Galanter said: “He filed charges.” Sheen’s attorney, Richard Cummins, was not immediately available for comment.
Mordkin declined to discuss the case but said he dropped opposition to allowing the Sheens to have contact with one another, saying it’s not productive to make people estranged who aren’t.
“It won’t affect the prosecution,” Mordkin said.
Judge James B. Boyd left in place standard provisions of the protection order that prohibit Charlie Sheen from harrasment or retaliation against his wife. Sheen is also prohibited from possessing weapons or using alcohol or drugs, unless they’re prescription.
Charlie Sheen, wearing thick black-rimmed glasses, said only “Yes, sir” to the judge as he looked straight ahead, at the table or at his attorney during the hearing. His wife sat in the front row of the gallery, occassionally glancing at her husband.
The Sheens have twin baby sons and have been communicating through their attorneys since his arrest. Through their attorneys, they have expressed a desire to reconcile.
“I don’t know how people survive something like this,” Galanter said, adding that time will tell whether the marriage survives.
Boyd did allow Sheen to visit his wife in a Los Angeles hospital last month after she was admitted with a high fever and an infection following oral surery.
A police officer’s arrest affidavit quoted Brooke Sheen as saying the actor pinned her on a bed while holding a knife to her throat and told her that she “better be in fear.”
The officer said Brooke Sheen reported her husband also told her he could hire ex-police “who know how to get the job done and they won’t leave any trace.”
Charlie Sheen denies threatening or hitting his wife but told police that he broke two pairs of her eyeglasses in front of her.
In an audio recording of a 911 call, a woman who identifies herself as Brooke tells the dispatcher that Charlie Sheen threatened her with a knife and added, “I thought I was gonna die for one hour.”
She said at least five times during the four-minute call that she wanted to file a report. “It’s happened before,” she said, according to the affidavit.
Galanter said Brooke Sheen has stood by her statements to police and will honor her legal obligations.
“When people make these type of (911) phone calls, they’re not contemplating all the legal complications that will occur,” he said. “It’s her position that this is a private matter.”
Denver defense attorney Dan Recht, a former president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, said victims wanting a case dropped is common in domestic violence cases and prosecutors are under no obligation to comply. Recht said Mordkin has several options, including issuing a subpoena to Brooke Sheen compelling her to testify.
“Once you report a crime in this type of case, you’re just a witness for the prosecution,” Recht said.
Galanter said the only reason the Sheens did not leave the courthouse together were the logistics that required three vehicles for the couple and their attorneys. He says the vehicles were packed with luggage and strollers, though he declined to say whether Brooke arrived in Aspen with their children.