Some Charges Dropped In Aspen Monoxide Deaths

Two Defendants Still Face Criminally Negligent Homicide Charges

Prosecutors have dropped misdemeanor charges against three men in the carbon monoxide deaths of a family staying in a luxury home near Aspen during Thanksgiving 2008.

Lawyers for two building inspectors and a contractor had asked for the misdemeanor charges to be dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.

Pitkin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin told The Aspen Times on Monday the decision was made after prosecutors realized the statute of limitations on the misdemeanors — each defendant was charged with four of them — had expired by the time a Pitkin County grand jury indicted the three on July 22, 2010.

The decision means that Pitkin County building inspector Brian Pawl, 46, no longer faces any charges in the deaths of Parker and Caroline Lofgren and their children, Owen, 10 and Sophie, 8. Pawl was only charged with misdemeanors.

However, the most serious felony charges, criminally negligent homicide, are still pending against Aspen building inspector Erik Peltonen, 68, and plumbing and heating company owner Marlin Brown, 57, The Times reported.

The Lofgrens had bought a weekend stay at the mountain home during a church auction. Friends joining them for the Thanksgiving weekend found the family dead from the gas leak in the home on Nov. 27, 2008.

Investigators determined a combination of mechanical, electrical and plumbing problems caused the leak.