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Dog foster volunteer acquitted in fatal shooting south of Evergreen

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Posted at 11:01 PM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2019-03-25 18:56:14-04

UPDATE (Monday, March 25, 2019): David Claussen was acquitted by a Jefferson County jury of second-degree murder. The trial was set for six days, but it took the jury just 1 1/2 days to hear testimony and return a not guilty verdict, according to Pam Russell, the spokesperson for the district attorney's office. Two sentence enhancers tied to Claussen's conviction were nullified.

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EVERGREEN, Colo. -- Investigators handcuffed a 46-year old Evergreen homeowner and took him in for questioning, Sunday, following a fatal shooting on the 7700 block of Highway 73.

David Claussen is now being held in the Jefferson County Jail for investigation of Second Degree Murder.

A sheriff's office spokeswoman told Denver7 that the original call was about a disturbance.

It was placed at 1:40 p.m.

"When we arrived," said Jenny Fulton, "we found a victim with a gunshot wound that was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries."

Fulton later tweeted that the victim "was pronounced deceased."

Investigators cordoned off Claussen's property on the west side of the highway, halfway between Evergreen and Conifer, and placed a plastic tarp over the ground where the victim fell, to protect possible evidence from the rain.

"I wouldn't know what to say about this because this just doesn't happen here," said next door neighbor Mark Duckworth.

Duckworth, who rents property from the Claussen's, told Denver7 that he was grocery shopping when the incident happened.

He said authorities shut down the highway briefly, so he couldn't get home.

Duckworth said the Claussens are dog foster volunteers.

He said he was helping them repair a fence yesterday because, "they were due to get a couple of large breed dogs in the morning, so we were hurriedly trying to get a fence put up."

Another neighbor, who was working in his yard, told Denver7 that he heard a single gunshot Sunday afternoon.

He said it appears that the victim walked onto the Claussen's property to retrieve something that belonged to him.

Was it a dog?.

Investigators aren't divulging a motive for the shooting.

They did say that the suspect and victim "were known to each other."

"We're talking to witnesses and to others who have been in the area," Fulton said. "It's still an ongoing investigation and we don't have much more information to provide at this time."

Claussen is due in court Monday morning.