DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers today issued the following statement regarding the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling in Auman v. Colorado:
“While I am disappointed that the Court reversed the conviction based upon a jury instruction that Ms. Auman’s counsel initially agreed to, I am pleased that it upheld Colorado’s felony-murder statute, and found that as a matter of law, being in police custody does not preclude a felony-murder conviction.
“Our felony-murder statute provides severe penalties for those who participate in certain felonies and someone is killed during the crime or flight therefrom. This crime spree and homicide of Officer VanderJagt is a textbook example of when the felony-murder rule should be applied.”
The Colorado Supreme Court reversed Auman’s felony-murder conviction and life sentence on the grounds that the jury instruction on the predicate second-degree burglary charge was improper. The case is captioned Auman v. People, 02SC885.