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George Brauchler, ACLU spar over woman’s refusal to testify against former client

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A private investigator remains in jail for refusing to testify on religious grounds.

Greta Lindecrantz opposes the death penalty as a Mennonite and has been jailed since Monday after repeatedly refusing to answer questions about her work on the defense team of Robert Ray.

He’s one of three men on Colorado’s death row.

Lindecrantz told Judge Michelle Amico on Wednesday that she feels like she’s having to choose between “you and God.”

Ray’s defense team is challenging his death sentence partly by arguing that he did not have an effective legal team.

Prosecutors want Lindecrantz to testify to back up their case that he did have good representation.

The issue of Lindecrantz’s actions and opposition to the death penalty resulted in an online spat between the ACLU of Colorado and 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler.

The ACLU called Lindecrantz’s objection to testify as an “admirable act of civil disobedience.”

Brauchler pointed out she voluntarily took on the role of lead investigator for the defense and was given a substantial paycheck, “$390,000 in taxpayer money,” Brauchler wrote.

Lindecrantz’s attorney said her client compared her predicament to being asked to shoot a gun at Ray, not knowing if it was loaded.

“She cannot be a cog in the machinery of death,” she said.

Amico ruled Lindecrantz must testify because her effectiveness in Ray’s defense has been questioned and there is no substitute for her testimony.

Ray and co-defendant Sir Mario Owens were sentenced to death for the 2005 killings of Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee Vivian Wolfe.

Lindecrantz will remain jailed until she testifies.

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