Violent Colorado Women — 2014

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Stories

Woman arrested after stabbing man in southwest Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs woman arrested after assaulting police officer at TESSA

Colorado Springs woman tries to kick police officer in the balls after being arrested in domestic dispute

Colorado Springs woman accused of twice trying to kill man she lived with for insurance

Denver police fire female cop for repeated on-duty sex

Fountain woman arrested after stabbing man

Centennial woman starts apartment fire when her lesbian lover leaves her for a man

What happened?

Denver sheriff's deputy, Debra West, arrested for assaulting her wife over lost keys

Colorado Springs woman arrested after shooting man and herself


 

Woman arrested after stabbing man in southwest Colorado Springs

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Colorado Springs Gazette

January 22, 2014 —A woman was arrested Wednesday after a man's screams for help alerted residents of a southwest Colorado Springs neighborhood and police found him bleeding from multiple stab wounds. police said.

Chelsea Mata, 24, of Colorado Springs, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault and booked into the El Paso County jail, court records show.

A neighbor called police at 12:40 AM when he heard a man in the 300 block of Crestone Lane yelling that he had been stabbed. The victim suffered multiple cuts to his right arm, but was able to give police descriptions of a man and a woman involved in his attack.

Police said that led them to Ms. Mata and a man, who was released.


 

Colorado Springs woman arrested after assaulting police officer at TESSA

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Fox21 News

February 12, 2014 —Colorado Springs police have arrested 37-year-old Alecia Zaher on charges of second -degree assault on a peace officer.

Officers responded to an 8:45 PM call of a disturbance involving an intoxicated woman at TESSA on 435 Gold Pass Heights off Highway 115.

Police said a female officer tried to handcuff Zaher when she resisted and became combative. After fighting to get her under control, the officer deployed her Taser. An additional officer arrived to help with the arrest.

The female officer sustained minor injuries from the assault and was treated and released from the hospital.

Alecia Zaher was also treated for injuries. She was later transported to CJC and booked on felony charges of second -degree assault on a peace officer.


 

Colorado Springs woman tries to kick police officer in the balls after being arrested in domestic dispute

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Colorado Springs Gazette

March 20, 2014 — Tiffany Berndt, 34, was arrested shortly before 10:30 PM on suspicion of second-degree assault on a peace officer, according to Colorado Springs police.

Officers originally planned to take Ms. Berndt to the detox facility after being called to a domestic dispute at a motel in the 4300 block of N. Nevada Avenue. When officers put her in a police cruiser, she began kicking the rear door. When an officer approached she kicked him multiple times in the lower abdomen, police said.


 

Colorado Springs woman accused of twice trying to kill man she lived with for insurance

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Colorado Springs Gazette

May 6, 2014 —A woman indicted this week on charges of attempted murder allegedly tried to kill her roommate once in 2005 and then enlisted help in a second attempt in 2009, according to court documents.

The motive? To collect on an insurance policy Tammy Lynn Fritz had taken out on her roommate in 2005, the indictment reveals.

Ms. Fritz, 47, Michelle Kay Heaston, 40 and Sean Richard Lagoe, 42 were indicted by a Grand Jury on charges including attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Tammy Fritz also was charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

According to court documents, Ms. Fritz and the victim, James Bowden, lived together for several years but were not romantically linked. Lagoe was Ms. Heaston's boyfriend in 2009, according to the indictments.

A month after taking out the life insurance policy on Bowden with herself as the sole beneficiary, Ms. Fritz tried to kill him by setting their home on fire on June 30, 2005, the documents state.

Tammy Fritz and James Bowden had returned home from a night of drinking when Tammy helped him to bed, lit a few candles in his room and turned on a fan, sparking a fire that the Colorado Springs Fire Department and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office responded to, the documents said. Bowden was rescued from the home and survived.

Four years later, in the summer of 2009 when Ms. Fritz was no longer living with Bowden, she employed Heaston and Lagoe to kill him the night before he was set to catch a flight for a move to Alaska, the documents state.

The documents indicate the victim was attacked by Lagoe with a baseball bat but reveal few other details.

Fritz had agreed to take Bowden to the airport on the morning of August 3, 2009, but when she arrived, he didn't answer his door or his phone, so she left, according to court documents.

Several witnesses told investigators the trio had spoken about the attack and the insurance policy, court documents state, and investigators found letters between Lagoe and Ms. Heaston that referenced the alleged murder plot.

It's unclear from court documents what happened in the five years leading up to this week's indictment.

On September 19, 2014, Michelle Heaston was given a 15-year suspended prison sentence and six years of probation after pleading guilty to first-degree burglary. The attempted murder charges against her were dismissed so she walks. Her accomplices still await trial.


 

Denver police fire female cop for repeated on-duty sex

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Abstracted from stories in Westword and CBS Denver

May 16, 2014 — The Denver Police Department has fired one female patrol officer and her married Denver Police Department boyfriend has resigned after he admitted the two had sex while they were both on duty "approximately 25-30 times" over the course of a year-and-a-half.

Stephanie Southard, 26, a patrol officer since 2008, was ordered fired April 14 for violating three department regulations including sexual misconduct and lying about having sex on duty. Southard is appealing her firing.

Officer Nathan Sanchez resigned after he admitted sexual contact with Southard while both were on the clock. An attorney for Southard said she would have no comment.

Southard and Sanchez become the fourth and fifth Denver police officers disciplined in recent months for sexual misconduct on duty.

During an internal affairs investigation, Sanchez said he and Southard became friends through work but the friendship quickly turned sexual.

According to the internal affairs investigation obtained by CBS4, "Officer Sanchez stated that 'approximately 25-30 times' he had unzipped Officer Southard's uniform pants while they were both on duty," and proceeded to have sexual contact. Officer Southard denied the on-duty sex but said "they only held hands and hugged each other (at work)." But Denver's Deputy Director of Safety, Jess Vigil, ruled that Sanchez was "credible" and that he and Southard "engaged in repeated sexual contact while on duty." Reportedly Southard also performed oral sex on Sanchez while they were on duty.

Southard and Sanchez join a growing number of DPD personnel recently found to be focused on sexual pursuits when they were supposed to be chasing crime.

At a July hearing Sanchez that as he attempted to end the affair Southard, on different occasions, scratched him on the neck, backhanded him in the face, and "flailed" at him. He also stated that he and Southard had sex the same day he told her the affair was over. Apparently at some point she also stuck her gun in her mouth.

In November 2013, the Denver Post revealed that Stephanie Southard had been charged with misdemeanor harassment owing to a June incident during which she's said to have socked Nathan Sanchez after he ended their affair.

An affidavit cited by the Post maintained that Southard walked up to the driver's side of Sanchez's vehicle in a Glendale parking lot, and at the sight of his wedding ring, she "grabbed and hit Sanchez's face as he turned his head away," knocking off his glasses and leaving a scratch near his eyebrow in the process.


 

Fountain woman arrested after stabbing man

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KRDO.com

June 1, 2014 —The Fountain Police Department says a man was stabbed in the 500 block of Royalty Place.

The victim was found at a nearby motel at around 10:30 PM.

Police say the stabbing happened during a fight.

The suspect in this case is Joyce Freeman. She was arrested and is facing charges for assault.

The unidentified victim suffered a serious stab wound but is expected to make a full recovery.


 

Centennial woman starts apartment fire when her lesbian lover leaves her for a man

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Abstracted from stories in Westword and other sources

June 23, 2014 —A fire in building G of the Copper Terrace Apartments, 6550 South Dayton Street in Centennial began around 1 AM. The fire trapped virtually everyone on the second and third floors of the apartment building. Eight people were hospitalized as a result of the blaze, one of them is in critical condition. Numerous individuals had to leap from their apartments in order to escape the flames.

At least four units in the building were destroyed or heavily damaged before the fire was extinguished. Damages were estimated to exceed $1 million.

One boy described jumping from the third floor on to a mattress some quick thinking individual brought out. His 10-year-old brother and parents climbed down a makeshift rope made of bed sheets and blankets.

They were far from the only ones.

A neighbor backed a pickup truck up to the burning building and mattresses were thrown in the bed of the truck to cushion the fall for those who wanted to jump.

Their neighbors all had similar stories to tell of their own evacuations.

"I got hit with a bunch of heat and flames," one woman said. "It singed my eyelashes and part of my hair. I burnt my hand trying to close the door."

"I didn't know if we were going to make it out in time," said Lenise Ruff, who suffered second degree burns on her hands and jumped out of her third story window with her roommate, Marilyn Kruc. Kruc underwent surgery for two broken vertebrae but was expected to make a full recovery.

"It's great that we could all, just that quickly, all come together to do something to help," one said.

Investigators found the fire on June 23 rd began in a stairwell in building G of the apartment complex. Within a day of the fire, Undersheriff Louie Perea said investigators found evidence suggesting that arson was a strong possibility. The evidence included signals from arson dogs trained to smell chemical accelerants.

Naomi Almodovar, 23, was arrested July 18 th and charged with criminal attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson and domestic violence. Ms. Almodovar was transported to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Detention Facility and is being held without bond. Deputies said additional charges against her are pending.

In court the following Monday, prosecutors said they plan to charge Almodovar with more than 37 counts of attempted murder plus arson-related charges. Bond was set at $1 million.

What happened?

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An arrest affidavit obtained by Fox31 offers law enforcement's version, which suggests that Naomi Almodovar set the apartment on fire in an act of revenge over a shattered love affair.

According to the document, Ms. Almodovar and the woman had been involved in a five-year relationship described as "intimate." But following a breakup, the woman got involved with a man who lived at Copper Terrace.

Apparently that situation led to a series of escalating crimes. On one occasion, Naomi Almodovar tried forcing her way into the man's apartment after sending a text warning the former girlfriend that she'd "destroy everything you love and everything you try to love." Ms. Almodovar subsequently rammed the man's car in the parking lot. The result was a domestic violence charge.

A few days later Ms. Almodovar choked her former lover after they "ran into each other" at a Walmart. After that the woman discovered that her tires had been slashed when she returned to her car.

Investigators believe these offenses were mere prelude to a larger crime. A week before the fire, the report notes, Naomi Almodovar's former girlfriend and her new boyfriend became "Facebook official." On seeing that post Ms. Almodovar reportedly responded by stabbing herself in the ribs, then telling her ex that she would kill for her.

As for what happened next, the account cited in the affidavit is attributed to a friend of Naomi Almodovar's who was arrested in mid-July on an unrelated drug charge. During interviews with investigators, Fox31 reports, she said she and Ms. Almodovar had gotten high a few hours before the fire started, after which Ms. Almodovar filled a gas can with $5 worth of fuel.

Next, the friend said she dropped Almodovar at an apartment complex — she wasn't sure which one —but its features were apparently similar to those at Copper Terrace. Her friend said Naomi was upset when she returned ten to fifteen minutes later, shortly before the blaze broke out in earnest.


 

Denver sheriff's deputy, Debra West, arrested for assaulting her wife over lost keys

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7 News Denver

December 17, 2014 —A Denver sheriff's deputy has been arrested and accused of assaulting her wife in a dispute over lost car keys, according to Littleton police records.

Littleton police arrested Deputy Debra West, 34, at her West Powers Avenue apartment on Wednesday morning. She was booked into jail for misdemeanor domestic-violence assault and harassment, according to a police report. Deputy West works in the Denver jail, which has been rocked by numerous scandals during 2014.

Just after 9 AM 31-year-old Keesha West called Littleton police to report a domestic violence incident with her wife, Debra West.

When officers arrived, Keesha West told them couple had been arguing that morning, because Deputy West was upset that her car keys were lost, according to a police report.

The argument escalated and Keesha said Debra West ran at her and pushed into a wall. Keesha said Debra punched her in the arm and then shoved her to the floor and got on top of her, straddling her with her legs. Keesha said Debra then rifled through her pockets trying to find the keys. Keesha said when she tried to shove her wife off of her, Debra punched her twice in the face, breaking her glasses.

An officer checked Keesha's arm, where she said she claimed to have been punched, and took photos of redness on her upper left arm near her shoulder. The officer also found Keesha West's eye glasses on the floor and noted the frame was bent "consistent with being damaged when the left side of K West's face was hit," the report said.

Keesha West told the officer that she might have struck Debra in self defense while trying to get her wife off of her.

Keesha also showed the officer text messages she received from Debra West "telling her not to call police or her children would be taken from her," the report said. Keesha's four children were not in the home during the altercation.

Police interviewed Debra West outside the apartment. The deputy told officers that Keesha was verbally "harassing her about everything." Deputy West told police "there was a scuffle" between her and Keesha and struck her in the left side of the face. The officer saw redness on the Debra's left cheek and photographed it. Police then arrested Deputy Debra West on suspicion of domestic violence assault.

Keesha West told police she later found Debra West's car keys in the cushions of the couch in the living room.

Keesha West also told police that about a month earlier, police had been called on another disturbance between the two women. Keesha said that she did not tell officers at the time, but prior to calling police that day Debra West had "put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her," according to the police report.

Police confirmed that officers had been called to the apartment earlier and that Debra West owned a handgun that was kept in a safe in the apartment. Deputy West has not been arrested or charged in connection with Keesha West's allegations about the gun incident.


 

Colorado Springs woman arrested after shooting man and herself

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Colorado Springs Gazette

December 28, 2014 — A woman was arrested Saturday hours after a neighbor and police found her and a man bleeding from gunshot wounds inside a southeast Colorado Springs home.

Colorado Springs police determined that 41-year-old Jonna Mushovic shot a man, whose name has not been released, in a home in the 4600 block of Spacewalk Way and wounded herself in the process. Both are expected to survive, police said.

Once she has recovered, Ms. Mushovic will be booked into the El Paso County jail on suspicion of first-degree assault.

Mushovic also was wanted on a warrant from Washington, D.C., for failure to appear on a drug possession charge, police said.

The incident occurred shortly before noon at the home in the 4600 block of Spacewalk Way, northwest of Powers and Fountain boulevards. The home is owned by John Bridges, according to El Paso County assessor's records.

A neighbor found Mushovic and the man and called police, then tried to stop their bleeding, police said. "That may have saved their lives," Sgt. Joe Matiatos said.

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| Chapter 12 — Stories Of Violent Women And Abused Men In Colorado |

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| Back — Violent Colorado women-Year 2013 |


 

This site is supported and maintained by the Equal Justice Foundation.

Last modified 4/23/15