Montrose man says his father had a sex change and he killed him, but victim was a different woman

Father says son has a meth problem
Posted at 11:13 AM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 13:42:46-05

OLATHE, Colo. – A Montrose man walked into the Olathe Police Department Sunday night and told officers his father had a sex change and that he’d killed him. But the person he’s accused of killing was actually a woman, and the man’s father is alive and well.

Police say they believe Joseph Anthony Saur, 19, was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time.

According to an affidavit for Saur’s arrest, he was “visibly emotional and distraught” when he walked into the police station Sunday night just before midnight and told officer he shot his father a few blocks west of the station.

But his story had holes immediately, according to the affidavit.

“Joseph was in a heightened state of mind while talking with [police]…. Joseph began saying police would be shooting now and go ahead and kill me,” the affidavit says. “Joseph claims to have killed his ‘dad’ but then states he wants to call his ‘dad’. While talking Joseph is clearly under the influence of some kind of drug.”

But offices quickly learned Saur’s father lived in Montrose—about 11 miles southeast of Olathe. When they called his father, the man told officers his son has a meth problem, had been off the drug for a while, but was again using.

“[The father] has concerns about his son and his behavior since he was using drugs again,” the affidavit says.

Saur told officers his father had a sex change and was now a woman called Patience Rian Stewart, and said the person “had done bad things,” according to the affidavit. He said the two had gotten in a fight at a trailer four blocks from the police station, and that he’d shot Stewart in self-defense.

Saur told the police chief he had ditched the gun on the way to the police station, and police recovered a 9mm handgun in a nearby bush.

They went to the trailer when Saur said he had shot “his father,” and found Stewart dead from multiple gunshot wounds to the head. The affidavit says officers found numerous drug items inside the trailer, and that she had a used meth pipe in one hand and a lighter in the other when she was found dead.

“Nothing in the truck camper pointed to any kind of altercation and nothing appeared broken or like a fight had just occurred,” the affidavit says, adding that it appeared Stewart had never moved from her position laying down in her bed. Bullet slugs found at the scene matched those found in the weapon, according to the affidavit.

A subsequent autopsy showed it was likely one of the shots came from close-range, and that Stewart had covered her face with her hands before being shot, the affidavit says.

Saur was hospitalized, and according to the affidavit, talked to several family members and one other woman, telling them he was “in trouble” or admitting that he had just shot someone, though he claimed it was in self-defense.

The district attorney’s office filed one count of first-degree murder after deliberation against Saur on Tuesday. A Wednesday advisement hearing was vacated, and a review of the case is scheduled for Friday.

Saur pleaded guilty in June 2015 to separate driving under restraint and driving while ability impaired charges. The DWAI arrest came in October 2014, and Saur was originally charged with multiple other counts, including DUI, speeding, reckless driving and marijuana possession, among others. Those charges were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea to the driving under restraint charge, according to court records.