State Prevails In Appeal Of Notorious Steamboat Springs Murder

DENVER – The Attorney General’s Office announced today that the murder conviction of Michael Backus, who had been found guilty of a gruesome murder thirteen years ago in Steamboat Springs, has been upheld.

“Today, the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of Michael Backus’ post-conviction appeal on his convictions for first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder,” said Attorney General Suthers. “This decision keeps a dangerous criminal behind bars.”

Backus and his girlfriend, Jill Coit, were charged with the 1993 murder of Steamboat Springs hardware store owner Gerald Boggs, who was Coit's ex-husband. Boggs and Coit had been involved in a bitter post-divorce court case involving their co-ownership of a Steamboat Springs bed and breakfast.

Boggs was found tortured and murdered in his Steamboat Springs home. Backus and Coit claimed they were camping at the time of the crime near Fort Collins. Witnesses, however, testified that Coit made attempts to find someone willing to kill her ex-husband and to statements both Backus and Coit made indicating that they had committed the crime.

Backus and Coit were each sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison.

In this proceeding, the Court of Appeals rejected Backus' claim that his conviction was the result of attorney incompetence.

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