Colorado: Smut & Smite Central

UPDATE: Feb. 3. After the jump.

The tawdry underbelly of Colorado has been on full Internet display this week. On Thursday alone, online readers were treated to claims of wild after-hours sex and drug parties at an exclusive Denver club, and sordid details about a first-degree murder trial in Greeley that left readers wondering: Was there anyone that Shawna Nelson did not have sex with?  The stories of shame and degradation came fast and furious – and in so-called FAMILY-FRIENDLY newspapers, no less.

In addition to the Nelson trial, in which Shawna Nelson was accused of murdering her ex-lover’s wife, a Rocky Mountain News report claimed that a  “former prostitute” had told TV reporter Brian Maass that, “”Basically there was a lot of drug use, drinking, almost orgy type stuff going on” at the Denver Club, in downtown Denver.

The Rocky dutifully reported that Channel 4 had reported that an unnamed former prostitute claimed, “Women were paid about $2,000 to have sex with numerous men. Men paid about $300 an hour for sex.”

“People were having sex on the pool table, couches … in the locker room, in the steam room,” the woman was quoted saying.

According to The Rocky, a grand jury is investigating.

As for Nelson, in addition to her husband, and her lover, whose baby she birthed, the former Greeley police dispatcher has now testified that she also had sex with her former best friend. She is on trial for shooting her lover’s wife in the head. One of the more peculiar descriptions of the testimony in the ongoing trial came to us by way of the Rocky Mountain News, though the story was actually written by a Greeley Tribune reporter:

The night of the murder, Nelson testified, she wanted to take a bath to relax because she had a headache. While preparing the bath, Nelson said she wanted a bottle of wine and put on dirty clothes, including her husband’s underwear, not wanting to dirty clean clothes.

The Denver Post, meanwhile, reported that Nelson testified she “wanted to protect” Heather Garraus, who she is accused of murdering and who was the wife of Ignacio Garraus, with whom Shawna Nelson had a baby.

“I told her I loved her and I would never get between her and Ig,” Shawna Nelson said.

Ig? Ugh.


UPDATE: Feb. 3: Nelson was found guilty today and sentenced to life without parole.

“We don’t know whether to cry or laugh,” Garraus’ friend, Maria Valdez told the Greeley Tribune. “I’m glad justice was served. It makes us sad Shawna didn’t have any remorse because she knew she did it.”

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at The Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at cdegette@coloradoconfidential.com

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