Prosecutors Mull Charges vs. Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen is seen in a mugshot made available by the Aspen, Colo. Police Department Dec. 25, 2009. The actor was arrested on charges of second-degree assault and menacing, both felonies, in an apparent domestic violence case. CBS

Prosecutors say they probably won't decide until February whether to file charges against actor Charlie Sheen in an alleged domestic violence case in Aspen.

Sheen was arrested Christmas Day on suspicion of menacing and second-degree assault, both felonies, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Authorities haven't identified the alleged victim, widely believed to be Sheen's wife, Brooke Mueller.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said Monday the menacing charge is the most serious, usually carrying a sentence of two to eight years in prison and a fine of $2,000 to $500,000.

Mordkin says Sheen's next court appearance is Feb. 8, and no decision on whether to prosecute him is expected until shortly before that.

Sheen is free on $8,500 bond.

The 44-year-old actor was taken into custody Friday morning by officers responding to an emergency call from a house in this Colorado ski resort town.

Photos: Charlie Sheen
Photos: Celebrity Mug Shots

An ambulance went to the house, but the accuser, thought to be Mueller, wasn't taken to the hospital.

Sheen, the star of CBS' "Two and a Half Men," was taken to the Pitkin County jail and booked.

He was released in the late afternoon after posting bond and being advised by a county judge on the conditions of his release, she said.
Dasaro declined to name Sheen's accuser, citing a department policy prohibiting the identification of potential victims in domestic violence cases.

Authorities say Sheen is accused of using a weapon but would not specify what the weapon was. Several Web sites are reporting that the dispute involved a knife.

Aspen attorney Richard Cummins said late Friday that he was representing Sheen in the case. He declined to name Sheen's accuser or discuss details, but he cautioned against any rush to judgment.

"I think at the end of the day it will be much ado about nothing," Cummins told The Associated Press. "I don't think there's any criminality about what went on."

Cummins said a court date was set for Feb. 8. "That may be to determine whether a case goes forward or not," he said.

Sheen's publicist Stan Rosenfield also warned against making assumptions.

"It would benefit everyone not to jump to any conclusion," he said.

Sheen is the son of actor Martin Sheen and brother of actor-director Emilio Estevez. He is married to Brooke Mueller Sheen, a real estate investor who gave birth to the couple's first children, twin boys, in March. They married in May 2008 following Sheen's bitter divorce and custody battle with actress Denise Richards.

The star of "Platoon," "Wall Street," "Major League" and the "Hot Shots!" movies has had run-ins with the law before. In December 1996, he was arrested and charged with attacking a girlfriend at his Southern California home. He later pleaded no contest and was placed on two years' probation.

In 1998, his father turned him in for violating his parole after a cocaine overdose sent him to the hospital. He was later ordered to undergo a rehabilitation program.
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