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Woman sentenced to 16.5 years for attempted murder of MPD medical examiner


A 25-year-old Woodbury woman was sentenced to 16½ years on Monday for the attempted murder of a Minneapolis police medical examiner in a plot to gain full custody of her son by her boyfriend.

Colleen Purificacion Larson waived her right to a jury trial with a guilty plea last month in Hennepin County District Court days after Timothy Amacher, 41, was sentenced to 18 years for attempted murder in the first degree for helping to engineer and cover up the shooting of Nicole Ford, the mother of his son. Ford, who previously went by the surname Lenway, was awarded sole custody after a bitter years-long court battle that led to the ambush outside a supervised visitation center, FamilyWise, on April 20, 2022.

Ford told a courtroom full of loved ones and Minneapolis Police Department colleagues that had Larson been successful, his son would be motherless.

“I don’t know which is worse: a vindictive ex who manipulates someone else into killing someone or a vulnerable outsider who blindly agrees to take someone’s life without a second thought and without remorse. both are incredibly dangerous. Both are equally guilty.”

Prosecutors wanted the maximum 17½ years for Larson. His attorneys, James Gempeler and Daniel Adkins, were asking District Judge Shereen Askalani for probation and blaming Amacher and his manipulation. Adkins said Amacher had tried to kill Ford twice before, and it was his illness that led to this third attempt.

“This is a redemption project,” Adkins told Askalani, adding that Larson had shown remorse and taken responsibility for his actions.

But Askalani said the only remorse Larson showed was for the pain she caused her own family, and that there was no factor allowing a downward gap in Larson’s sentence for attempting to first degree murder.

“The remorse is for the impact it had on her loved ones and on her life; there was no remorse displayed by Ms. Larson for almost taking someone’s life,” Askalani said.

“Ms. Larson said she didn’t know what she would do differently. By all accounts, Ms. Larson was portrayed as naive, sometimes immature and easily manipulated,” Askalani said. “However, she is also a 25-year-old woman who is educated. She is a college graduate. She was a productive and functional adult in society.”

Askalani repeated what Ford mentioned in his impact statement about Larson’s continued willingness to seek therapy as an indication of his desire to improve his life. But in her statement, Ford pointed out that Larson was already in therapy when she chose to try and kill her.

Ford also said that Larson is still in touch with Amacher and those around him “communicating her love for him, even expressing that she wants a future with him. Even today, nearly a year later, she remains steadfast in her love for Tim.”

In her guilty plea to attempted first-degree murder last month, Larson admitted to running behind Ford and shooting her as she approached the entrance to pick up her son – who was inside with Amacher – and continued firing after Ford fell to the ground, suffering a point-blank bullet in the neck that left her unable to speak to the dispatcher when she called 911.

“She stood above me, what seemed like only inches away, continuing her attempts to end my life, pursuing me even after I ran away from her,” Ford said. “She even admitted that she intended to kill me.”

Ford was intubated in the hospital for days, forced to communicate on written pieces of paper. She has since returned to work at the ministry. A few weeks before Amacher’s trial, she married MPD officer Donovan Ford.

Larson’s attorneys read a brief statement prepared on his behalf as well as a letter from Larson’s father. She wrote that she accepted all the consequences and wanted atonement. She said she hopes to own a small business to “promote a healthy lifestyle through exercise and routine activities” and continue her spiritual journey with the support of her family.

Wayne Larson asked the judge to be lenient with his daughter. “To crack her up, she had to exert extreme pressure. … If it wasn’t for him, she wouldn’t be where she is now.”

Larson said during his plea hearing in February that Amacher provided his new truck, which did not yet have a license plate, and his weapon, which investigators never found, to carry out the attack. .

Askalani said that while Amacher is the one who masterminded the plot and had strong reasons to want Ford dead, Larson is the one who went to FamilyWise with a loaded gun.

“Mrs. Ford is alive not because Mrs. Larson abandoned the conspiracy plan to kill her, but because Mrs. Larson failed,” Askalani said. “And Ms. Ford only survived because the bullet didn’t hit major organs or an artery. … It was a near miss.”

The attack, including Larson stalking beforehand and fleeing afterward, was captured during home surveillance in the neighborhood as well as businesses in the area around FamilyWise. Amacher’s truck was also equipped with a GPS tracking system that tracked its route.

Ford said Larson’s admission of guilt doesn’t mean much given that his guilt was clearly filmed. Hennepin County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Lofton said there would be no acceptance of liability without the videos.

“It’s not a case with the history of extreme co-op,” Lofton said. “It’s a case where the evidence was really, really strong.”

He added that Larson still believed she had to kill Ford based on Amacher’s lies, conspiracies and manipulation. But Lofton said Amacher wasn’t a wizard.

“She made her own decisions that day. They were very cold. They were very calculated. They were based on a complex plan. close enough.”

Larson, who was released on bail for months under house arrest, was handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies.

Ford watched the legal shutdown unfold in front of her in silence, then walked out of the courtroom to hug her mother, friends and co-workers.

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