Suspect may face 1st degree murder charge

Aleksandr Kolpakov

Heather Anable

The 29-year-old Clifton man accused of shooting a woman to death Saturday night appeared in Mesa County Court on Monday, and was advised on a possible second-degree murder charge.

Aleksandr Kolpakov, though, could face a first-degree murder charge, according to Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle, who told the court that his office is taking a “hard look” at the higher charge.

The victim was identified Monday by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office as Heather Anable, 31, and said she died due to gunshot wounds to the chest and neck.

An attorney for Kolpakov declined to argue bond at the hearing Monday, and Mesa County Court Judge Craig Henderson issued Kolpakov a $500,000 cash-only bond in the case.

Records in the case remained under seal on Monday.

The owner of the four-plex in the 3200 block of Lombardy Lane where the victim lived told The Daily Sentinel that Kolpakov had been staying with the woman in the apartment. Further details about Kolpakov’s relationship with the woman were not immediately available.

Kolpakov was a self-defense instructor, and is affiliated with the group Real World Self Defense. A website for the group says Kolpakov is Russian-born with dual citizenship and is a former member of the U.S. military.

Kolpakov has in the past taught self-defense to a small group at East Middle School, according to the school district.

He also was quoted in a 2016 Daily Sentinel article as the president of the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers.

His next court date was set for May 23.


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