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Alan Head, the Idaho Springs man accused of killing his infirm older sister in July 2019, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a jury trial in May. Head, 69, previously pleaded guilty to …
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Alan Head, the Idaho Springs man accused of killing his infirm older sister in July 2019, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a jury trial in May.
Head, 69, previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last February and was scheduled for sentencing in March. However, court procedures were delayed because of COVID-19 closures.
In May, Head requested and was granted new counsel in Dana Christiansen from Breckenridge, who was appointed by the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel. He helped Head file a motion to withdraw the plea on the grounds that former defense counsel had been ineffective in communicating things to him when he entered the plea. The motion was granted on Sept. 1.
On Dec. 28, Head pleaded not guilty to the eight charges filed against him, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault of an at-risk person — all felony charges — and neglect of an at-risk person.
He is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on March 1, and a trial is slated for May 3-14.
District Attorney Bruce Brown explained that if Head is convicted of first-degree murder, he would be sentenced to life without parole.
Head was arrested on July 27, 2019, at his home near the 1500 block of Highway 103 for allegedly killing his 74-year-old sister Mary Jo Head. She was found dead of a gunshot wound.
According to Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office investigators and the dispatcher who took the initial 911 call that day, Alan Head described the incident as a “mercy killing.”
During an interview later that day, Alan Head told investigators that his sister’s mental and physical health had been deteriorating to the point where she had the mental capacity of a 2-year-old.
During a Nov. 2019 preliminary hearing, Alan Head’s previous attorneys emphasized Mary Jo Head’s quality of life, that her brother had been her caregiver since 2013 or 2014, and Alan Head’s description of the incident as “the most merciful way to put her out of her misery.”
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