DENVER (CBS4)– A Mennonite woman jailed over her refusal to testify in a death penalty case has been released on the order of a judge.
Greta Lindecrantz refused to testify in a death penalty case because of her religious beliefs. In the past few days, she changed her mind after spending nearly two weeks in jail. She will likely take the stand later this week.
Lindecrantz agreed to testify after learning that refusal to do so could play a role in leading Robert Ray to be executed. He has been sentenced to death in a double murder.
Lindecrantz’s attorney has filed the request for the judge to order her immediate release from jail where she had been for the past two weeks and that request was granted on Monday afternoon.
Lindecrantz was an investigator hired by the defense to try to find mitigating circumstances to overturn 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 initially 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.