DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. John Hickenlooper indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap on Wednesday and CBS4’s Jennifer Brice was with the parents of one victim when the governor had a private conference call with the families.
Brice was sitting in Bob Crowell’s kitchen with him as he was on phone with the governor. His daughter was killed by Dunlap at a Chuck E. Cheese 20 years ago.
During this conference call Brice could hear the other victims’ families yelling at the governor, saying things like, “Dunlap is an animal,” and “How could you do this?” And, “This is a coward’s way out.”
Crowell patiently waited his turn on a conference call with the governor to voice his opinion that the judicial system is broken.
“That makes Colorado a chicken state, we have a chicken governor,” Crowell told Hickenlooper over the phone.
Crowell’s daughter, Sylvia Crowell, was one of four people killed at the Chuck E. Cheese by Dunlap. She was 19 at the time.
Crowell says a majority of the families on the conference call did not support the temporary reprieve.
Crowell asked Hickenlooper to provide an accounting of all funds spent since Dunlap’s trial so taxpayers could know how their money was spent, and now wasted, in his opinion.
“Keep in mind that the money can’t make a tenth as much difference as having lost our daughters and sons,” Crowell told Hickenlooper.
Crowell says there is no justice now for Sylvia and that it’s a sad day for Colorado.
“I feel that the knife that’s been in my back for 21 years just got twisted another half around by the governor himself,” Crowell said.
The phone call lasted about a half hour. Crowell said the governor told the families his choice to grant the reprieve was because, “I can’t see myself executing someone.”
The execution has now reignited the debate over capital punishment.
Brice also spoke with Bobby Stephens, the sole survivor of the shootings. He said he is also displeased that Hickenlooper granted Dunlap a temporary reprieve to his death sentence.