Son testifies against mother in Helmick trial

Testifying as a prosecution witness, Miriam Helmick’s son told jurors that his mother suggested she had been cleared in the investigation of Alan Helmick’s murder and authorities were fine with her leaving Colorado for Florida in the summer of 2008.

Chris Giles on Tuesday testified his mother came to live with him in Jacksonville, Fla., after she left her home in Whitewater in July 2008. Giles said he wondered about his mother’s representations after he was told another story by a Mesa County Sheriff’s investigator who called him in August 2008. The investigator wanted to know if Giles knew where his mother was.

When Giles mentioned to his mother that he had told the investigator her whereabouts, Miriam Helmick “wasn’t very happy.”

Giles, who had visited his mother in Grand Junction around the July 4 weekend, said he had previously advised her not to leave the area “until everything was taken care of.”

Giles and Miriam Helmick briefly exchanged a waive and smile as Helmick was escorted into the courtroom Tuesday afternoon, the ninth day of testimony from prosecution witnesses in Helmick’s murder trial.

Giles testified his mother told him that Alan Helmick had been killed in a home invasion. Alan Helmick, 64, was shot in the head and killed in the kitchen of the home in Whitewater he shared with his second wife, Miriam, on June 10, 2008.

Using a computer at Giles’ home, Miriam Helmick was using a false identity to meet men in an online dating service, according to testimony. Charles Kirkpatrick, the owner of two ballroom dance studios and a human resources firm between Georgia and Florida, testified that Helmick identified herself to him as “Sharon Walker.”

Prosecutors have alleged Miriam Helmick was using the identity of Alan Helmick’s late first wife, Sharon, in order to get a job in Florida toward the end of 2008.

Kirkpatrick testified he was active online on a pair of dating sites,, and, Miriam Helmick first approached him with an e-mail on the former site, he testified.

“Honesty’s always the best policy,” she said in one e-mail, signing off as “your future lover, playmate and friend.”

After a series of e-mail exchanges, Kirkpatrick said he called her expressing interest in a date.

That same day, Helmick made the two-plus-hour drive from Jacksonville to Orlando, where they had dinner and drinks at a local restaurant. At some point, conversation moved toward what had happened to her husband six months earlier.

“(Helmick said) he had some sort of brain disease and had been sick three or four years before,” Kirkpatrick testified. “It wasn’t like a sudden thing.”

That night, they had sex at his apartment, and she stayed another three days. Kirkpatrick said he was wary about Helmick’s stated desire to move in with him.

“It was repeated several times,” he testified.

When Helmick expressed a desire to stay longer, Kirkpatrick said he lied about a pending business trip. The two never met or spoke again.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with the way she approached me about staying,” he testified.


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