Aspen man goes to court with stuffed owl as his public defender

ASPEN, Colo. - An Aspen man accused of violating a protection order involving his former roommate is being defended by a stuffed animal.

The Aspen Times reports Charles Abbott sat a fuzzy horned owl on the defense table during his court appearance Tuesday, saying the owl's name was Soloman and that he'd sit in until a public defender was assigned to his case.

The victim in the case, Abbott's former roommate, Michael Stranahan, says he was out of town when Abbott violated the protection order by going to his home to retrieve belongings.

Stranahan said Abbott took some of Stranahan’s possessions.

Pitkin County Court Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely ignored the owl during the hearing, and asked Stranahan if he'd be willing to amend the protection order to allow mediation.

“I want it to remain in place because I don’t feel safe about being in close proximity to Charles Abbott,” Stranahan said.

The hearing ended with the protection order remaining in place. However, Abbott is allowed to attend the same church at Stranahan as long as he doesn't have contact with him.

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