^
Keep Westword Free
4
| News |

The Butler School Owner Did It

Mary Louise Starkey, head of the Denver-based butler school Starkey International Institute of Household Management, pleaded guilty in Denver District Court on Tuesday to assaulting Lisa Kirkpatrick, one of her former students.

The case stemmed from a February 7, 2007, incident at the school in which Starkey, the city's so-called First Lady of Service, grabbed Kirkpatrick by the neck and shoved her face toward a mirror because Starkey, 59, was upset about her pupil's appearance. It was one of several examples of turmoil at the prominent institution, according to former students and staff.

Starkey agreed to cop to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, in exchange for the dismissal of her original felony second-degree assault charge, says Denver district attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough. She received a two-year deferred judgment under supervised probation, with the condition that she pay $10,233.06 in restitution to the DA's victim compensation program (which helped cover Kirkpatrick's medical bills). Starkey must also attend therapy and anger management classes.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

"If she is successful in following these terms and conditions and does not commit any new criminal violations, on June 17 of 2010, she will go back to court and will be allowed to withdraw her guilty plea and the case will be dismissed," says Kimbrough.

Starkey didn't return a call seeking comment. Kirkpatrick, however, was displeased by the news, saying she wished Starkey had received harsher punishment. "I am disappointed, and I don't feel like justice was served," she says. "She is going to continue doing this until she kills somebody."

The courtroom sagas aren't over for Starkey. On May 13, she was arrested for domestic violence after she allegedly attacked a man who was living in her Denver apartment. That incident, which is set for a jury trial in Denver County Court on July 14, has no impact on her deferred judgment for the Kirkpatrick affair, says Kimbrough. "That will be a separate matter that will proceed on its own merits."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.