DENVER (CBS4) – A Steamboat Springs-area mother accused of killing her 9-year-old son has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Lisa Lesyshen killed her 9-year-old son, Asher Lesyshen-Kirlan, in their home near Steamboat Springs in May 2013. She then shot herself but survived and is now paralyzed and uses a wheelchair.
Lesyshen entered a guilty plea for second-degree murder in exchange for a 40 year prison sentence and the judge approved the deal Monday afternoon in a Denver courtroom.
“After consulting with the victim’s family and the investigating agencies, I concluded that this agreement was the best way to bring this tragic case to a close. Our hope is that this outcome brings some measure of justice to Asher and his family,” District Attorney Brett D. Barkey said in a statement.
Lesyshen was originally charged with first-degree murder in Asher’s death, but she then pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Court officials have said that because of Lesyshen’s condition she must remain in Denver’s jail facilities. They said the Routt County Jail doesn’t have the accommodations or the around-the-clock staff to handle a prisoner with Lesyshen’s kind of injuries. She has been housed in the Denver County Jail Infirmary since shortly after the incident.
Prosecutors alleged that Lesyshen became angry with her husband, Michael Kirlan, when she discovered he was allegedly dating another woman. They argue that on May 29, 2013, just days after that discovery, Lesyshen shot her third-grade son five times and then tried to kill herself to punish her husband.
“It’s hard to realize that someone who you were with 25 years, who I knew she loved Asher, could do something like this,” Kirlan said. “I’m relieved that we’re past this. I’m very happy that the community and everyone involved did not have to go through a trial, including Lisa.”
It’s believed that the couple’s son was asleep in bed when the shooting happened. Kirlan was also asleep in another bedroom.
During an earlier preliminary hearing the defense argued Lesyshen was under emotional duress following the discovery of her husband’s affair.
Lesyshen’s parents were in court Monday crying as the case finally came to a close. At the end of the proceedings Lesyshen whispered ‘I love you’ to her parents.
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