DENVER (AP/CBS4) — A defense investigator in a Colorado death penalty case remained behind bars after refusing again on Wednesday to testify for prosecutors, saying that helping their effort to execute a defendant would violate her religious beliefs.
Greta Lindecrantz, a Mennonite who opposes capital punishment, faced a third night in jail and possibly more after telling Judge Michelle Amico that her position hasn’t changed.
“I feel like I’m having to choose between you and God,” Lindecrantz, wearing a blue jail uniform and shackles on her arms, said.
Outside the courtroom before the hearing, fellow Mennonites sang hymns in support of Lindecrantz.
Lindecrantz was jailed Monday after she repeatedly refused to answer questions about her work on the defense team of Robert Ray, one of three men on Colorado’s death row.
Lindecrantz also refused to answer questions in court Tuesday and was returned to jail.
Attorney Mari Newman said Lindecrantz had been sick all morning and needs medical care. He noted that Lindecrantz could have been allowed to remain free while she appeals the contempt order.
“A court is supposed to impose the least punitive sanction not the most punitive sanction. What we are seeing is the court punishing her over and over. They are unwilling to hear the fact that she has been throwing up all morning and has a serious medical condition that is putting her life in danger,” said Lindecrantz’s attorney Mari Newman.
Amico cut Newman’s arguments off and said she would intervene if Lindecrantz’s health concerns aren’t addressed.
Amico said the contempt order appeal also means that Lindecrantz’s fate now rests with “someone higher than me.”
“I feel horrible for her. I don’t think she’s feeling very well at all. I don’t see any end in sight. I’m pretty sure in my heart that she’s not going to change her position so who knows how long this will go,” said Lindecrantz’s husband David Sidwell.
Ray’s defense team is challenging his death sentence partly by arguing that he did not have an effective legal team.
Prosecutors apparently subpoenaed Lindecrantz to testify to back up their case that he did have good representation. They previously questioned Ray’s original lawyers as part of the appeal proceedings.
Newman said Lindecrantz worked for those lawyers and noted that prosecutors already have access to Lindecrantz’s report and other documents on her work.
COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press, contributed to this report
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)