Crime

Lisa Marie Lesyshen Ditches Insanity Bid, Pleads Guilty to Killing Son Asher, Nine

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As we've reported, Lisa appeared to dote on Asher, a charming, athletic child who was well known in the Steamboat Springs area (the family lived in the nearby community of Stagecoach) despite his tender years.

For instance, she posted numerous videos of the boy, including this one, which features him singing the song "Twinkle, Twinkle."

But in May, her world came crashing down around her after stumbling on an e-mail exchange between her husband, Michael Kirlan, and the woman with whom he was conducting an affair, as he tearfully detailed at a hearing in Denver last November. (Lesyshen was held here because the jail facilities are more wheelchair-friendly than those in Routt County, where the crime was committed.)

At the hearing, Michael confirmed that he'd told Lisa about his infidelity -- an admission that prompted a sprawling argument during which she's said to have struck him numerous times and identified him as "the enemy."

Amid the spat, Michael reportedly agreed not to divorce Lisa immediately, so that she could retain her health insurance -- and the next day seemed to move forward in a fairly normal fashion, with her going to work and the family eating together. But around 3 a.m., Michael, who'd been sleeping in the basement, heard loud noises that turned out to be gunfire.

Lisa had purchased a weapon, borrowed ammunition from a neighbor and shot Asher as he slept -- three times in the chest, once in the head.

When Kirlan got upstairs, he told the courtroom, he found a dazed Lesyshen emerging from Asher's bedroom. "I don't know what happened in there," she's quoted as telling him before firing off the shot that paralyzed her -- a statement that would presumably have been key to her insanity defense had she followed that course.

Afterward, according to the original arrest warrant shared here, officers found a note next to Asher's bed addressed to Michael. It read "Remember you are responsible for what has happened here and you are the person that caused it." It was signed, "Lisa & Asher."

When Lesyshen returned to court this past February, the judge in the case allowed her to plead not guilty by reason of insanity -- a move that triggered an examination by a state-appointed psychiatrist tasked with determining her mental state at the time of the shooting. The evaluation was due in late May, but it was superseded by her court appearance yesterday, when her guilty plea was announced. She accepted it while sobbing.

Look below to see a 7News report detailing the November hearing. That's followed by the original arrest warrant and our previous coverage, including more photos and videos.

Lisa Marie Lesyshen Arrest Warrant

Continue for our previous coverage on the arrest of Lisa Marie Lesyshen for the murder of her son, Asher Lesyshen-Kirlan, including photos and videos.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts