Alleged killer pleads not guilty to manslaughter
September 29, 1999
Luree Highpines Nelums, 44, pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter charge in her plea hearing Monday. She requested a trial by jury which is set for 8 a.m. Feb. 15 and is expected to last four days.
Nelums was arrested June 14 after her husband, Gordon Ray Nelums, 48, was found dead in a motel room in the Colorado Inn. Nelums was charged with manslaughter and is being held on $50,000 bail.
Both Nelums and her husband had been drinking that night. The cause of Gordon’s death was found to be a stab wound to the upper right thigh in the area of the femoral artery.
Kevin Humpheries with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said in a statement in the court file that there were indications Gordon was stabbed through the blankets on the bed.
The case will be tried before 14th Judicial District Court Judge Joel Thompson who has said the court will only accept a plea to the charge of manslaughter, but without sentencing concessions. He will not consider a motion to dismiss the entire case unless good cause is shown.
Nelums is still incarcerated in the Moffat County Jail after a motion to reduce her bail failed. Her attorney, Kristopher Hammond, asked for the motion to be reconsidered which Thompson will do Oct. 25.
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Deputy District Attorney David Waite objected to the hearing because one had already been held.
Manslaughter is a Class 4 felony that carries a presumptive sentencing range of two to eight years and a $2,000 to $500,000 fine upon conviction. If convicted, Nelums could serve as many as 16 years.
if a judge determines certain circumstances apply.