Former Steamboat resident gets 18 years in prison for murder of husband |

Former Steamboat resident gets 18 years in prison for murder of husband

CRAIG – Rachel Niemeyer, a former resident of Steamboat Springs, was sentenced Tuesday in Moffat County District Court to 18 years in prison for the murder of her husband in October 2017.

Niemeyer, 40, was convicted in May of one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree assault and two counts of prohibited use of a weapon. For those crimes, state law requires a sentence of 16 to 48 years in prison.

Rachel Niemeyer

The shooting took place Oct. 4, when Niemeyer and her husband, Michael Adam Freese, 48, spent the day drinking in their motel room at Bear Valley Inn. Niemeyer later shot Freese in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. During the trial, Niemeyer denied pulling the trigger.

At the sentencing hearing, Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen said Freese’s father wanted Niemeyer to be given 30 years in prison. Karzen said Niemeyer lacked any genuine empathy for Freese’s children and family, who were grief stricken by the crime, and remained concerned only with herself.

“Ms. Niemeyer’s alcohol-fueled selfishness boiled over to homicidal resentment last October,” District Attorney Brett Barkey was quoted as saying in a news release. “As a result, a man is dead, and an entire family is burdened with the permanent void and overwhelming grief that follows when one human being murders another. Over the period of Ms. Niemeyer’s incarceration, we can only hope that grief dissipates, and that void is replaced with memories and love they carry for their father, son and brother Michael Freese.”

The investigation was conducted by the Craig Police Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Karzen and Deputy District Attorney James Hesson. Judge Michael O’Hara handed down the sentence.

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