DA won't seek death penalty against Lisa Lesyshen in shooting death of her 9-year-old son Asher

Woman had learned of husband's affair

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - The Routt County district attorney says he will not seek the death penalty against Lisa Lesyshen, who is accused of shooting and killing her 9-year-old son a day after learning that her husband was having an affair.

After killing her son, Asher Lesyshen-Kirlan, on the night of May 29, Lesyshen shot herself in the neck area in an unsuccessful suicide attempt, according to testimony at a November preliminary hearing.

Authorities say the Steamboat Springs woman has suffered paralysis to her legs and lost some use of her arms.

"Our office conducted a thorough evidentiary and legal analysis under Colorado’s death penalty law which requires the comparison of statutory aggravating criteria against available mitigating evidence," District Attorney Brett Barkey said in a Tuesday statement.

"As part of our review, we sought input from Asher’s father, Michael Kirlan. We also consulted closely with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the scene and led the investigation. After carefully considering the evidence, the legal analysis, the recommendations of the Routt County Sheriff’s Office and Mr. Kirlan’s desires, I have concluded that seeking the death penalty is not appropriate in this case," Barkey said.

A Routt County judge ruled last month that Lesyshen will stand trial on charges of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 13, 2014.

While it is a Routt County case, Lesyshen's preliminary hearing was held in Denver District Court, because the paralyzed defendant is receiving treatment in a secured facility at Denver Health Medical Center.