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Crime Watch report

Apr 26, 2024 

A Whitewater woman serving a life sentence for murdering her husband in 2008 was denied — again — of any relief on that sentence by the Colorado Court of Appeals.

The appeal marks Mariam Helmick’s third attempt to have her conviction reversed or her sentence reduced.

“After a month-long trial, a jury found Helmick guilty of (1) first-degree murder for shooting and killing her husband; (2) attempted first-degree murder for a previous attempt to kill her husband; and (3) 10 counts of forgery,” Judge Gilbert Roman wrote in the ruling.

“The trial court sentenced her to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the first-degree murder conviction, and imposed additional consecutive sentences for the other convictions,” Roman wrote in the ruling, which was joined by Judges Robert Hawthorne and Michael Berger. “A division of this court affirmed her convictions on direct appeal.”

In addition to a life sentence for murder, Helmick was given a combined 78 years on the other convictions. 

This appeal and the last one were both filed pro se, meaning she did so without the aid of an attorney.

In the second appeal, Helmick tried to argue that her trial attorney was ineffective. In the third one, she tried to argue that her post-conviction attorney also was ineffective.

The court rejected both, the second time determining that it was “successive,” meaning it alleged something that had already been adjudicated.

Inmate Mariam Helmick in a yellow jumpsuit


“The court also found that, in addition to being successive, the allegations in the motion were vague and conclusory, and without any assertion of a factual basis,” Roman wrote. “To the extent Helmick’s motion asserted claims that her trial counsel was ineffective, those claims either were raised and resolved, or could have been presented, in her first post-conviction motion and post-conviction appeal. Thus, the trial court did not err by denying them without a hearing.”

At trial, a Mesa County jury found that Helmick shot her 64-year-old husband, Alan Helmick, in the back of the head in the kitchen of their Whitewater home on June 10, 2008. She reported the incident to police, but claimed that it appeared to be part of a burglary attempt.

That shooting occurred 40 days after she attempted to kill her husband by blowing up his car outside a business in Delta, according to court evidence. Helmick had placed a wick-like device in the gas tank of the vehicle, lit it and walked away.

When police began to suspect that she was a prime suspect in the killing, she fled to Jacksonville, Florida, and moved in with her son, who later testified against her. In Florida, Helmick tried to pass herself off as Sharon Helmick, Alan’s first wife who died in 2003.

Helmick, now 67, is serving her sentence at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility.

Additional articles on this case:


Helmick sought insurance on husband before murder, DA says

Death of Helmick's first husband ruled off-limits for her murder trial

Movie may have inspired alleged murder attempt, county prosecutor says

Woman killed two husbands, DA says

Woman heads to trial in killing of her husband

Son testifies against mother in Helmick trial

District Attorney
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