Crime

Lisa Marie Lesyshen enters insanity plea in killing of her nine-year-old son, Asher

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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 upon stumbling upon an e-mail exchange between her husband, Michael Kirlan, and the woman with whom he was conducting an affair, as he tearfully detailed at the aforementioned hearing, held in November. The session was conducted in Denver because Lisa is in custody here; our jail is reportedly more wheelchair-friendly than the one in Routt County.

At the hearing, Michael confirmed the extramarital relationship to Lisa, prompting a sprawling argument during which she's said to have struck him numerous times and identified him as "the enemy."

Amid the spat, Michael is said to have 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 we suspect will be key in her defense.

Afterward, according to the original arrest warrant on view below, 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."

Lesyshen was back in court yesterday, and as 7News reports, the judge allowed her to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

What's next? Lesyshen will be examined in the Denver County Jail infirmary by a state-appointed psychiatrist to determine her mental state at the time of the shooting, and whether she understood that she was doing something wrong.

The results of that evaluation are due on May 21, and they'll go a long way toward determining what the future will hold for Lisa Marie Lesyshen.

Look below to see two 7News reports -- the first featuring the latest developments, the second detailing the November hearing. That's followed by the original arrest warrant and our previous coverage.

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