Charles Abbott certainly found an unusual and low-cost form of representation when he was accused of violating a protection order.
Abbott, 67, reportedly placed a horned owl stuffed animal named Solomon on the defense table. The accused told Pitkin County Court Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely that he thought the plush animal would be adequate representation until he could be assigned a public defender. Needless to say, the judge only addressed the humans in the room during the proceedings.
Michael Stranahan took out the protection order against Abbott, his former roommate, after Abbott had allegedly assaulted 75-year-old Stranahan at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Stranahan had reportedly thrown Abbott out of the house after the incident.
One week later, police again arrested Abbott. This time, it was on the protection order violation. According to police, Stranahan was out of town when a friend of Abbott’s called to ask about gathering some of the defendant’s possessions from the home. This friend, Eric Nilan, reportedly had also recently been released from jail after felony stalking charges. Nilan asked if Stranahan could go to the house with him, since Stranahan was out of town. Stranahan gave what he thought was an unequivocal no.
However, later that evening, police called Stranahan again to tell him that Abbott was in the home. Stranahan was not amused, and police took Abbott into custody.
In an attempt to bring peace to the household, Judge Fernandez-Ely asked Stranahan if he would be up for allowing the protection order to be amended to facilitate mediation. Stranahan declined the offer, insisting the protection order remain intact.
No word yet on whether Solomon the Owl will be representing Abbott in his next court appearance
ABC 7 Denver brings us this report:
Man brings stuffed toy as attorney to court (9 News Colorado)
Aspen defendant enlists stuffed animal as his attorney (The Aspen Times)
Aspen man goes to court with stuffed owl as his public defender (ABC 7 Denver)
Colorado man brings stuffed owl to court as defense counsel (UPI)