Woman in police shooting case released from halfway house
April 25, 2006
DENVER ” A woman once serving life without parole in the high-profile 1997 slaying of a Denver police officer shot by someone else has been released from a halfway house, officials said.
Lisl Auman left Tooley Hall sometime within the past week, Denver Community Corrections assistant director Greg Mauro told the Rocky Mountain New on Monday. She will be monitored for approximately eight more years.
The shooting happened after Auman recruited Mattheus Jaehnig to help her break into a former boyfriend’s house to retrieve some of her belongings, prosecutors said. Officers chased the two to a Denver condominium complex, where Jaehnig killed Officer Bruce VanderJagt and then killed himself.
At the time, Auman was sitting in a patrol car in handcuffs. Asked before the shooting whether Jaehnig was armed, she said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” according to court documents.
Auman’s family and supporters contend police officers offered conflicting accounts of Auman’s cooperation, suggesting she did tell at least one officer that Jaehnig was armed.
Under Colorado’s felony murder law, anybody involved in certain felonies is guilty of murder if someone is killed during the crime or during the flight from it.
Auman’s case caught the nation’s attention after celebrities including Hunter S. Thompson and Warren Zevon rallied for her freedom.
A judge later approved a 20-year sentence in community corrections for Auman after she pleaded guilty to burglary and accessory charges. Her plea came after the Colorado Supreme Court said faulty jury instructions had invalidated her conviction on charges of burglary and felony murder.
Mauro said Auman must live in the Denver area. Auman’s father, Don, said only that his daughter wants to move to her new life without publicity.