Whitewater Widow Claims Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A woman at the center of a high-profile murder trial nearly a decade ago is claiming that a previous lawyer wasn't acting in her best interest.

Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubenstein says Miriam Helmick, who was dubbed the Whitewater Widow at the time of her 2009 trial, has filed a legal petition for post-conviction relief, claiming ineffective assistance from her lawyer in September of 2015.

Wednesday in court a status conference was held with Helmick's new lawyer, who is trying to gather witnesses together.

Helmick's husband, Alan, was fatally shot at the couple's Whitewater home in 2008.

A jury found Miriam Helmick guilty of first degree murder and she was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

An additional 48 years was given for attempted murder of her husband after prosecutors said she set fire to his car months before the actual murder.

She was also sentenced to 60 years in the Department of Corrections and 30 years parole for forging ten checks on her husband's account.

According to Rubenstein, Helmick's ultimate goal with this recent court claim is to have a new trial.


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