Husband, friend agree to testify against Shawna Nelson

Fort Collins, Colorado (AP) 3-08

A close friend of a woman charged with killing a romantic rival described how she helped her friend plan the slaying.

Michelle Moore pleaded guilty during late February to being an accessory to a crime, agreeing to testify against Shawna Nelson in exchange for nine years in prison. She had faced a conspiracy to commit murder charge, which carried a 48 prison sentence.

Nelson, a police dispatcher, is accused of shooting Heather Garraus to death outside her workplace in January 2007. Prosecutors say Nelson was having an affair with Garraus’ husband and wanted her out of the way.

Moore described how she suggested Nelson shoot Heather Garraus through a car window so it would act as a barrier to DNA evidence. Other suggestions included using silencer and gloves.

Moore said Nelson told her she “could just walk up and shoot Heather in the head.”

During cross examination, defense attorneys suggested the two women were romantically involved, though Moore denied the relationship was sexual.

Earlier, Nelson’s husband, Ken, testified that Shawna knew how to load and shoot the weapon she is suspected of using against Heather Garraus.

Nelson said he was going to divorce his wife after learning she was pregnant with the child of Greeley Police officer Ignacio Garraus, who was married to the victim. Nelson said his wife had her lover’s name tattoed on her ankle but he didn’t know what it spelled.

“She said it was something tribal,” Nelson said.

Ken Nelson said he reconciled with his wife and agreed to help her raise the child she was expecting.