March 15, 2010 / 9:55 PM / 9 years ago

Charlie Sheen pleads not guilty to assaulting wife

Actor Charlie Sheen accepts the award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Comedy for "Two and a Half Men" during the taping of the 2008 "NCLR Alma" awards at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, August 17, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

ASPEN, Colo (Reuters) - Actor Charlie Sheen pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of assaulting his wife, who had previously asked for the case to be dropped.

Sheen, 44, the star of America’s most-watched TV comedy “Two and a Half Men”, entered his plea though his lawyer at a brief court hearing in the ski resort of Aspen.

The court set a July 21 trial date, although Sheen’s wife, Brooke Mueller, has told journalists repeatedly that she would like the case dropped.

Sheen was charged in February with assaulting and threatening Mueller, his third wife, on December 25 during a family vacation in Aspen. Mueller told police Sheen pulled a knife on her and threatened to have her killed when she said she would divorce him. Both had been drinking, according to alcohol tests.

He could face up to three years behind bars if convicted on the charges of felony menacing, misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief. The menacing charge entails the alleged use of a deadly weapon in a threatening manner.

Mueller was not in court with Sheen on Monday but the couple is back together in Los Angeles with their infant twins and attempting to rebuild their two-year-old marriage.

“Charlie looks forward to the trial to clear his name,” Sheen’s publicist Stan Rosenfield told reporters after Monday’s hearing in Aspen.

Production of the CBS show “Two and a Half Men” was halted after Sheen checked into rehab last month for undisclosed reasons. Mueller also spent time in rehab, reportedly for substance abuse.

Executive producer Mark Burg told reporters on Monday that shooting for the four remaining episodes of “Two and a Half Men” this season would resume on Tuesday.

Editing by Jill Serjeant and Cynthia Osterman

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