Woman sentenced to 18 years in prison in Moffat County District Court for second-degree murder of husband
August 15, 2018
CRAIG – Rachel Niemeyer was sentenced on Tuesday, Aug. 14, to 18 years in prison in Moffat County District Court by Judge Michael O’Hara for the murder of her husband.
Niemeyer, 40, was convicted in May following a six-day jury trial of one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree assault, and two counts of prohibited use of a weapon, according to the release from the Moffat County District Attorney’s Office. The murder occurred Oct. 4, when Niemeyer, after spending the day drinking with her husband, Michael Adam Freese, 48, shot Freese in the head with a .22 caliber rifle in their motel room at Bear Valley Inn.
During the trial, Niemeyer denied having pulled the trigger.
For the offenses for which Niemeyer was convicted, Colorado law requires a sentence ranging from 16 to 48 years in prison. At the sentencing hearing, Assistant District attorney Matt Karzen said Freese’s father wanted Niemeyer to be given 30 years in prison, noting that her written statements to the court made no mention of Freese’s children and family, who were grief stricken by the crime. Karzen said Niemeyer lacked any genuine empathy and remained concerned only with herself.
In the news release, District Attorney Brett Barkey wrote: “Ms. Niemeyer’s alcohol-fueled selfishness boiled over to homicidal resentment last October. As a result, a man is dead, and an entire family is burdened with the permanent void and overwhelming grief that follows when one human being murders another. Over the period of Ms. Niemeyer’s incarceration, we can only hope that grief dissipates, and that void is replaced with memories and love they carry for their father, son, and brother Michael Freese.”
The investigation was conducted by the Craig Police Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Karzen and Deputy District Attorney James Hesson.