Movie may have inspired alleged murder attempt, county prosecutor says

A prosecutor said Monday that Miriam Helmick may have been inspired by an award- winning 2007 movie when she allegedly tried to kill her second husband in a car fire in Delta.

Mesa County Sheriff’s investigators learned that the movie “No Country For Old Men” was rented at the former Helmick home in Whitewater on April 26, 2008, Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle said during testimony Monday.

The movie, rented via Dish Network, includes a scene in which actor Javier Bardem’s character places an article of clothing in the gas tank of a car, lights it and walks away into a pharmacy before the car explodes.

Four days after the movie rental, prosecutors allege Miriam Helmick set fire to her husband’s car, which had a rope-type wick placed in the gas tank and was set afire outside a Delta business.

Alan Helmick was uninjured in the blaze.


Tuttle suggested not.

“It shows where she could have gotten an idea for such an event,” Tuttle told the judge.

Helmick’s defense said there’s no evidence showing Helmick and her husband watched the movie together. Alan Helmick’s son-in-law, Josh Vigil, also was living in the house at the time, according to deputy public defender Jody McGuirk.

The issue came up Monday during arguments on a defense motion seeking to throw out charges of attempted murder, and a sentence-enhancing crime of violence charge, related to the alleged arson of Alan Helmick’s car on the morning of April 30, 2008. The defense has argued Mesa County prosecutors lack venue because the alleged crimes happened in Delta.

According to an arrest affidavit, Miriam Helmick was the last person seen at the rear of the car — near its gas tank — prior to the fire. Alan Helmick and his wife had parked at 721 Main St., where he signed a deal selling his interest in a title company.

Prosecutors recently were dealt a blow in their efforts to tie the fire to Helmick.

An analysis conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation found that a piece of rope recovered from the couple’s former Whitewater home did not match a section of rope used as a wick in the Delta fire incident, according to testimony.


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