Mennonite investigator to remain in jail for refusing to testify in death penalty case

DENVER -- A 67-year-old Mennonite private investigator will remain in jail until further notice.

Greta Lindecrantz was put behind bars after refusing to testify in case involving the death penalty.

Lindecrantz is a Mennonite and a private investigator who worked on a death penalty appeal case.

She refused to testify saying it went against her religious beliefs to participate in a case that could lead to the the death penalty.

A district court judge threw her in jail for contempt of court.

Her attorney argued Lindecrantz, who is In deteriorating health, would indeed be willing to testify,  if a district judge would ask her questions, instead of prosecutors who she believes aim to put a convicted murderer to death.

Mari Newman said Lindecrantz is concerned her refusal to testify may unfairly skew the case.

Newman also said, “Lindecrantz has become concerned because the judge is blowing her testimony out of proportion that its going to prejudice [the case] and that’s the last thing she wants. Ms. Lindecrantz has always been wanting to testify if death were not on the table.”

A lawyer for the state attorney general office, who was representing the court said allowing Lindecrantz to not testify would set a bad precedent.

The attorney said it would be massively problematic and open Pandora’s box – that would lead to others making similar requests.

But the three judges ruled she’d have to abide by the court’s rules saying, "Ms. Lindecrantz is in a tough spot — caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. We take no pleasure in declining to extricate her. But the state of the law being what it is, decline we must.”

Newman said she will continue to fight and is considering taking the case the US Supreme Court.


RELATED: Read the court's full ruling here