^
Keep Westword Free
4
| Crime |

Colorado law: Banjos be deadly

Everyone knows that banjos are awesome. But are they also deadly? According to Colorado law, that depends on how you use them.

If you use your banjo for, say, pickin', you're all good. If you use it for hittin', such as in the case of 33-year-old Joseph Stancato, you're not.

Stancato, of Denver, hit another man upside the head with his banjo on New Year's Eve after getting into a fight with the man and the man's friend at an Aspen bus stop. He was charged with assault and, according to a widely circulated Associated Press story that tells of a judge's ruling allowing Stancato to tour with his band while awaiting his next court date, he could face prison time because a banjo is considered a "deadly weapon" under Colorado law.

We here at Westword wanted more proof of that fact, so we e-mailed the Aspen police to ask about the law.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Community relations Officer Stephanie Dasaro quoted it for us.

Under Colorado Revised Statutes, a "deadly weapon" is defined as any of the following which in the manner it is used or intended to be used is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury: I) firearm, loaded or unloaded, II) knife, III) a bludgeon; or IV) any other weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance.

See? It says the word instrument. And that's too bad for Stancato.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.