Helmick questioned about day spouse died

Miriam Helmick broke into tears only once while testifying Friday in her murder trial, which is drawing to a close.

After the defense rested early Friday afternoon, the jury was released for the weekend. Closing arguments and jury instructions are slated for Monday, followed by jury deliberation.

Helmick used a tissue to blot her eyes Friday as she recounted walking into her home to find her husband lying on the ground with blood pooling behind his neck. Helmick, who is accused of killing her husband on June 10, 2008, in their Whitewater home, barely raised her voice and offered lengthy explanations during about 90 minutes of cross-examination by the prosecution.

Mesa County Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle’s broad range of questions Friday focused mostly on Helmick’s actions the day of the murder and what she did after finding her husband lying on their kitchen floor.

Tuttle asked Helmick why she traveled all around Grand Junction to gather only a few items while shopping on the morning her husband was murdered; what she did when she found her husband; why there was surprisingly little blood on her after dispatchers told her how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and why she planted a greeting card with death threats written in it on her front door.

Helmick testified she planted the threatening card addressed to herself in an attempt to get police to keep watch for the killer, someone she suspected was driving in a white truck in the area.

Tuttle asked why Helmick didn’t just ask investigators if they were looking for a suspect.

“I was hoping they would come out, and if they had found someone they would contact me,” Helmick testified.

Tuttle asked why Helmick would plant the greeting card if she wanted authorities to look for a suspect.

“It wasn’t my intention to lead them astray,” she testified.

“In fact, that greeting card led them to the real killer, didn’t it Ms. Helmick?” Tuttle asked.

“No, it did not,” Helmick answered.

Tuttle spent less time questioning Helmick about a few other subjects.

When asked about a white-handled, .25-caliber, Lorcin gun, a weapon belonging to Alan Helmick’s family at one time, Miriam Helmick testified she had never seen it. The gun uses a bullet that is the same kind that killed Alan Helmick, Tuttle said.

Investigators, though, did not find the murder weapon.

Tuttle asked Helmick about her plans for writing a book about her husband’s murder, basing that question on a conversation that was recorded on the jail’s phone while she was talking with her brother. Helmick was recorded saying she would keep in touch with television shows “48 Hours” and “Nightline,” too, Tuttle said.

“You’re looking to cash in on what’s been happening, aren’t ya?” Tuttle said.

“I’m just frustrated with what’s been happening,” Helmick said.

Helmick testified she did not have a book deal, and she talked about writing a book, “but not to anybody who mattered.”

“This is the love of your life who’s been murdered, and you’re selling it to the highest bidder,” Tuttle said.

“No,” Helmick replied.


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