DENVER (CBS4) – A Mennonite woman who has refused to testify in a death penalty case because of her religious beliefs has reportedly changed her mind after spending nearly two weeks in jail.
Greta Lindecrantz’s attorney filed a “notice of intent to testify” on Saturday which states:
“Lindecrantz has always been guided by the overarching faith-based principle that she cannot assist in the taking of life. Having learned that Mr. Ray’s current counsel believes that not obtaining her testimony will adversely affect Mr. Ray’s likelihood of securing a legal remedy to spare his life, Ms. Lindecrantz must take them at their word and reevaluate her position. Based on this dramatic change in circumstance, she has concluded that her religious principles honoring human life now compel that she must testify.”
Lindecrantz was an investigator hired by the defense to try to find mitigating circumstances to overturn Robert Ray’s death sentence.
He was convicted in the murders of Javon Marshall-Fields and Vivian Wolfe.
The prosecution asked her to testify on Feb. 26, which she refused and was later held on contempt of court.
Lindecrantz’s attorney says after learning from Ray’s legal team that her absence of testimony could hurt Ray’s chances of overturning the death sentence he received.
“Her viewpoints have not changed. Her religious convictions have not changed,” said Mari Newman, Lindecrantz’s civil rights lawyer. “What has changed, is she has learned new information.”
Newman said her client was willing to stay in jail as long as needed, in order to protect her religious convictions. However, after Ray’s defense contacted her, she decided the best move was to testify.
“Her decision not to testify based on her religious grounds is actually hurting his chances at living, or being found not guilty,” Newman said. “She is now harming Mr. Ray, and harming his chances at life, rather than helping him.”
The court has received the document and Lindecrantz’s attorney hopes to get her released before Monday. It’s unclear when she will take the stand.