Neimeyer manslaughter trial underway in Craig
CRAIG — The jury trial for Rachel Niemeyer, who is accused of accidentally shooting and killing her husband, is underway in Craig.
On the evening of Oct. 4, 2017, Niemeyer, 40, and her husband, Michael Adam Freese, were staying at the Bear Valley Inn in Craig, where they were celebrating jobs they had been offered at the Clarion Inn earlier that day, according to prior reporting by the Craig Press.
They had been drinking to celebrate. Niemeyer had consumed a bottle of wine, Freese had consumed a six-pack of beer and both had taken three shots, according to her account in the original arrest affidavit.
Officers were called to the scene about 10:06 p.m. Wednesday and found that Michael Adam Freese had sustained a gunshot wound.
During interviews with officers, Neimeyer offered a fuzzy account of what had happened, asking officers repeatedly if she had shot her husband. In other moments, she remarked she had done it and claimed Freese had set her up, according to the affidavit.
She said Freese was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four to five months earlier and that he “told her to just take him out back and shoot him or put arsenic in his tea,” the affidavit said.
Niemeyer was initially arrested for first-degree assault and domestic violence, but later, charges were upgraded manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of prohibited use of a weapon and second-degree assault of a police officer — she reportedly kicked an officer in the shin.
Freese, 48, died of his injuries on October 5, 2017.
According to the docket of the 14th Judicial District Court, the trial began Thursday, May 10, and is scheduled to continue through Monday, May 14.
The Craig Press will update this story as more information becomes available.
12:14 a.m. Near the intersection of West First Street and Colorado State Highway 13, police in Craig responded to a traffic stop. Craig police said they issued a bicyclist a citation. Police responded to at least one other traffic stop Monday.