Woman Who Killed Ex Won't Be Charged

Prosecutors Say Azura Lakin Acted In Self-Defense Under 'Make My Day Law'

A Fort Collins woman who killed her ex-boyfriend by cutting his neck with a broken beer bottle will not be charged in his death, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Prosecutors say Azura Lakin was defending herself under Colorado's "Make My Day Law" when the man barged into her home.

The 21-year-old Lakin told police that on the night of the deadly clash "she hit him with the beer bottle because he broke her phone" during an earlier, drunken argument outside a bar, according to an arrest affidavit.

Shaun Cassidy, 23, of Montrose, suffered massive blood loss from a severe neck wound and died Oct. 9 at a hospital, a week after the confrontation at Lakin's Fort Collins apartment, according to the coroner.

"The death of Shaun Cassidy is a tragic loss of life," Larimer County District Attorney Larry Abrahamson said in a Thursday statement explaining his office's decision to not charge Lakin.

But after several prosecutors reviewed the facts gathered by Fort Collins police in the killing, Abrahamson said, "We came to the unanimous conclusion that criminal charges could not be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt."

Abrahamson's two-and-half page statement laid out the facts of the couple's night of drinking and fighting.

Affidavit Details Night Of Drinking, Fighting

On Oct. 1, the Montrose man came to Fort Collins to visit his ex-girlfriend and the two began drinking before going to the Drunken Monkey bar in Old Town, prosecutors said.

Two male witnesses said Cassidy was "very intoxicated" and jealous of other men dancing with or hugging Lakin, prosecutors said.

One man who was dancing with Lakin at the bar told investigators that Cassidy became jealous and angrily threw a beer bottle on the dance floor.

The man also said he saw Cassidy smash Lakin's cellphone on the ground outside the bar and angrily kick a trash can and hurl a metal chair, prosecutors said.

A second man said when he gave Lakin a hug outside the bar, Cassidy pulled him away from her, cursing him and challenging him to a fight, prosecutor said. The man said that Lakin had to tell Cassidy to stop.

Lakin then left with two men, leaving Cassidy outside the bar.

Because Cassidy broke her cellphone, Lakin had to borrow a phone to call her 18-year-old sister, Anna, who lives with her, to come give her a ride home, prosecutors said.

The sisters then began making phone calls, trying to find Cassidy, including checking to see if he was at the Larimer County Jail.

Cassidy, Lakin Fight Before He's Kicked Out

At about 3:30 a.m., a "highly intoxicated" Cassidy arrived by taxi and entered the apartment, prosecutors said. He demanded his car keys and other belongings.

"Azura told the police she did not give them to him, because she believed he had broken her phone," prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said, "Shaun and Azura began arguing and pushing each other back and forth. Shaun shoved Azura against the wall and began choking her."

Yet, according to the arrest affidavit, Lakin told an officer that she and Cassidy "started pushing and choking each other."

Anna Lakin said she had to pull Cassidy off her sister and he punched Azura Lakin, knocking her to the ground, according to prosecutors.

The sisters said together they "kicked Shaun out," but he began banging on the apartment door, the affidavit said.

Cassidy, Lakin Didn't Realize Extent Of Wound

"Anna said that Azura picked up an empty beer bottle and told her she wanted Shaun to leave," prosecutors said. "Anna said that Azura opened the door and told him to go away."

The sisters said that Cassidy "pushed open the door, stepped across the threshold and was coming at Azura," according to prosecutors.

"Azura struck him on the head with the bottle and it broke. Both girls said Shaun seemed unfazed when hit with the bottle," prosecutors said.

"They said he continued towards Azura as if to choke her, again, and she struck him with the now broken bottle," prosecutors said.

Cut on the side of the head and neck, Cassidy pushed Azura against the wall as her sister tried to pull him off, prosecutors said.

"Azura began yelling at him to stop and that he was bleeding and yelled at Anna to call 911," prosecutors said.

Cassidy walked out of the apartment, followed by Azura Lakin.

A witness outside said Azura Lakin was yelling, "Oh my God" and "I didn't mean to hurt him."

Arriving police officers found Cassidy on the ground, bleeding from the neck. He was rushed to the hospital, but later died from the neck wound and the resulting massive bleeding that caused a stroke, the coroner said.

Abrahamson Cites Make My Day Law

Abrahamson cited key sections of the so-called Make My Day Law, which states:

    "Any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property … and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant."

Abrahamson said: "The evidence shows that Shaun Cassidy was forcing his way back into the apartment after having been physically removed following his assault on Azura Lakin."

"It is our conclusion that (the self-defense law) provides Azura Lakin immunity against criminal prosecution based on the facts presented to us in this case," the district attorney said.

Lakin has a history of alcohol violations.

In March, a then-20-year-old Lakin was arrested in Montrose County on investigation of DUI, underage drinking, having an open container in a vehicle and disorderly conduct, according to court records.

She pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of driving while ability impaired and was sentenced to one day in jail, 24 months of probation involving alcohol evaluation and supervision and 24 hours of community service, court records said. Prosecutors dismissed all other charges.

In December 2010, Lakin was arrested for underage possession and consumption of alcohol in Montrose County, court records said. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 months of community service.

In 2005, a 35-year-old Montrose County woman and a 14-year-old girl sought a restraining order against Lakin, who was 14 years old at the time, court records said. However, a judge dismissed the restraining-order request the day it was filed.

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