- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DENVER (AP) — A disagreement over the terms of actor Charlie Sheen’s proposed work release has held up a plea deal in the domestic dispute case, according to a lawyer involved in the negotiations.

Yale Galanter, Mr. Sheen’s lawyer, said Tuesday that the final paperwork submitted to a judge would have placed Mr. Sheen under stringent rules while out of jail working at theater company, including not being able to smoke. Under the useful service program, he would have had to follow jail rules while in town, such as eating only jail-provided meals, or face sanctions.

The jail also offers less strict work-release arrangements, allowing people to report to their day jobs and essentially act as regular citizens during the day. However, Deputy Marie Munday, Pitkin County sheriff’s spokeswoman, said that program is intended for locals who need to keep their jobs while serving time. She said Mr. Sheen didn’t qualify because he’s not a resident with an existing job.

Mr. Galanter said he didn’t learn that Mr. Sheen would be in the stricter program until just before Mr. Sheen’s court hearing Monday.

Prosecutor Arnold Mordkin didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the nature of the plea deal problems, which first were reported by the Aspen Times.

Mr. Galanter said Mr. Sheen had worked out an agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in exchange for dropping more serious charges against him. That deal calls for Mr. Sheen to serve a 30-day sentence and to be able to leave jail during the day to work at Theatre Aspen.

Mr. Galanter said the smoking restrictions were a small part of the disagreement, adding that Mr. Sheen had been approved to get nicotine patches while in custody.

Under the work-release program, the only restrictions would be that Mr. Sheen travel to and from work and refrain from drugs and alcohol.

“It’s not worth it to set him up for failure,” Mr. Galanter said of the stricter program.

Mr. Sheen was expected to enter his plea during Monday’s hearing, after some last-minute negotiations, prosecutors asked for more time to work out the details. The judge set a new hearing for July 12.

Associated Press writer Catherine Tsai contributed to this report from Aspen, Colo.


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