LONGMONT, Colo. –
Two women who attended a 4/20 marijuana party with a Longmont teenager Monday night are accused of stabbing him to death with a pocket knife after he was kicked out of the gathering for hitting on the hostess, police said Wednesday.
Mariena Amber Harris, 19, of Longmont, and Lakesha Marie Crutcher, 20, a transient, are being held at the Boulder County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Skyline High School dropout Logan Cameron Steele Sisson, 19.
Harris, who attended Skyline with the victim in 2005, is “taking responsibility” for the fatal blow, but her story has changed several times, police Cmdr. Tim Lewis said.
A third suspect, 35-year-old Robert Glenn Wittmer, of Longmont, is being held on suspicion of being an accessory to second-degree murder.
An autopsy Tuesday revealed that Sisson died from a stab wound to the chest, but police wouldn’t say if he was stabbed more than once.
The suspects drove around town after the stabbing and talked with several people about the fight that led up to it, Lewis said.
“The discussions have different facts and conclusions,” he said.
All three suspects appeared in court Wednesday afternoon, where a judge set a $500,000 bond for Harris and $250,000 bonds for Crutcher and Wittmer.
Harris sat quietly throughout the hearing in a red smock, with her hands bound in chains around her waist. Her father attended the hearing, but declined to speak with reporters. Harris’s attorney, Matthew Connell, also declined comment.
Official charges are expected to be filed Friday.
Investigators believe the suspects all knew Sisson, and that the women had gone to school with him.
John Poynton, a spokesman for the St. Vrain Valley School District, said Harris, Crutcher and Sisson all attended the district’s Adult Education center, which helps students older than 17 earn a diploma.
Crutcher, who previously attended Arapahoe Ridge High School in Boulder, referenced the learning center on the social networking site www.myyearbook.com.
Her profile on the site includes photos of herself wearing a blue sweatshirt and bandana with the caption, “reppin that blue … lovin the crip life.”
The Crips gang is known to associate with the color blue, although police insist gang activity had nothing to do with the slaying.
The site, which lists Crutcher by the nickname “KeyLow C,” was last updated Tuesday, with her emotional status listed as “nauseated,” and the message: “KeyLow C is wonderin who she am.”
“My life is kind of a quiet one, seeing in how I don’t really hang out with that many people,” her profile reads. “I know how to have a good time. And I like to hang out.”
Crutcher was immediately placed on suicide watch after being booked into jail early Wednesday, Boulder County sheriff’s Division Chief Larry Hank said.
Hank said Crutcher was emotionally distraught at the possible murder charge, and would be monitored and given a mental-health evaluation to determine whether she’d remain on suicide watch.
“They sometimes can come in pretty distraught and emotional when they come in with those charges,” Hank said.
Harris and Wittmer were booked into the jail without incident, Hank said.
During searches of their homes early Wednesday, investigators recovered several knives from Harris’ home that will be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for analysis, Lewis said. He said he thinks the murder weapon was among them.
Detectives also found several small homemade explosive devices in Wittmer’s home, 1636 Mount Evans Drive, for which the man could face additional charges. The Boulder County and Longmont Bomb Squads were called to defuse the devices, which Lewis described as having the potential to “blow off fingers” but not do widespread harm.No one answered the door Wednesday at either house.
Wittmer gave himself the nickname “Dragon Master,” according to police â and is the only one of the trio of suspects who has a criminal history in Colorado.
Most of the charges he’s faced stem from traffic offenses and for failure to pay fines or appear in court. The most serious charges came from an arrest on suspicion of felony fraud and forgery.
According to the CBI, Wittmer, who was born in Louisiana, also goes by the name Barry Scott Wittmer.
‘We had no clue’
Lewis said the group went to the park late Monday night specifically to find Sisson, who had been told to leave a pro-pot party at a house three blocks away â in the 1900 block of Meadow Drive â after the woman hosting the party became the “object of his unwanted affection.”
At the park, police say a physical fight broke out between Sisson and the two women, although detectives aren’t sure who started it.
A friend of Sisson’s told police four people left the city’s Lanyon Park in a 1997 black-and-red Geo Tracker after a fight erupted there between them and Sisson, who staggered across the street and was found bleeding on a stranger’s porch last Monday night.
The fourth person at the fight has been identified and interviewed, but not charged with a crime, Lewis said.
“We know who he is,” Lewis said. “We are working to just determine what his exact involvement was in the incident.”
Detectives believe alcohol and marijuana were being used at the party, and were factors leading to the fight.
All three suspects were booked into Boulder County Jail between 2:15 and 4:10 a.m.
Police arrested them after a bizarre series of events that left detectives dumbfounded, Lewis said.
After developing a lead about a potential witness, detectives went to Harris’ home, 201 E. Longspeak Ave., on Tuesday afternoon. Lewis said Harris, who was not yet considered a suspect, refused to talk to them.
Detectives noticed a Geo Tracker parked in front, and set up surveillance on the house. They eventually saw Wittmer getting into the car, and stopped him down the road for questioning Tuesday afternoon.
Shortly afterward, officers watching the house saw Harris and Crutcher leave together and â to the astonishment of detectives â drive to the Longmont Police Department.
“They said they were there to turn themselves in,” Lewis said.
He said people at the station had “no clue” why they were there at first, and the women did not admit to any involvement in the crime. They did request attorneys while police moved to search Harris’ and Wittmer’s homes.
“We had to take our time because they were not identified as suspects at that point,” Lewis said.