According to NBC News, a Mennonite private eye has been arrested and charged with contempt for refusing to testify in an appeals case filed by Robert Ray, a convicted murderer. She and her defense have now filed a motion to attempt to free her from jail. Greta Lindecrantz refused to answer questions in court because she opposes the death penalty on religious grounds, and keeping her behind bars is hurting her other clients who are facing the penalty, says the emergency motion.
If the motion fails to free her, attorneys plan to appeal the decision to Colorado’s highest court.
Lindecrantz, 67, is a long-time member of the Mennonite Church USA, which opposes violence such as wars and executions. Her work requires her to investigate cases involving the death penalty for defense attorneys.
Ray was one of her clients, along with two other men on death row, who was convicted of planning the murder of a witness. His appeal claims that Lindecrantz and the rest of his defense team didn’t represent him adequately.
Prosecution called her to testify about the work she did, but she argued doing such a thing would turn her into a tool of the process aimed to kill Ray, which goes against her faith and beliefs.
The judge who ordered her arrest says Lindecrantz will stay in custody until she agrees to testify.
The Colorado Court of Appeals denied a request to free her this week, and Lindecrantz has stated she won’t violate her faith to be freed. According to state laws, she can remain incarcerated for up to six months, but could be sent back if she still refuses to testify.
She did say she would answer questions in court posed by the defense team or the court, but not from the prosecution. Prosecutors say this poses a problem because they wouldn’t be able to cross examine her on the stand.
*Photo credit NBCU News Group