ARAPAHOE COUNTY – An Arapahoe County inmate charged with solicitation of first-degree murder after he allegedly asked a cell mate to kill his former prosecutor has been found not guilty.
A jury found 20-year-old Christian Harvey not guilty Thursday afternoon. Harvey is alleged to have asked his cell mate to kill a woman - an Arapahoe County deputy district attorney - who had previously prosecuted him after he admitted to having sex with a young teen.
Harvey's cell mate notified his attorney who notified prosecutors of Harvey's alleged plan. Court documents show Harvey's cell mate wore a wire allowing prosecutors to hear Harvey's plan.
According to court records, the plan involved shooting off both of the prosecutor's legs with a shotgun to make the murder look like a gang hit. After the murder, Harvey wanted the hit man to steal the prosecutor's cell phone, checks, laptop, cash and her car, documents say.
When investigators interviewed Harvey, court documents say he admitted to the plan. Harvey told investigators he wanted her shot and her body burned along with her residence, court documents say.
Harvey's defense attorney, Jesse Glassman, says that though Harvey's remarks may have been offensive, they are protected under the First Amendment. Glassman added that Harvey's cellmate "preyed upon Mr. Harvey, who was vulnerable, in order to obtain a better plea offer for himself."
The victim's boss, District Attorney George Brauchler, called the decision disappointing, given the gravity of the alleged crime and initial admission of guilt.
"I'm extremely disappointed that this person wasn't held accountable for the threats that they made against my prosecutor," Brauchler said.
The Denver District Attorney's Office prosecuted the case. Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the office, says they are equally unhappy with the outcome, adding there's no way to know why the jury made the call.
"Without having the luxury of knowing the 11 hours of jury deliberations, I couldn't speculate," Kimbrough said.
Despite defeat, both offices say they still believe in the rule of the law.
Harvey is being held on $250,000 bond in Arapahoe County Jail for several charges including sex offenses, assault, and drug charges.
9News reporter Anastasiya Bolton reached out to Harvey for an interview, but he denied the request.
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