Colorado Man Gets Life In Prison For Murdering Lawyer

| by Lauren Briggs
Warren Watson mugshotWarren Watson mugshot

A Colorado man who murdered an attorney was sentenced Oct. 1 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The court sentenced 54-year-old Warren Watson to a life sentence with an added 334 years in prison in the 2013 death of 61-year-old Claudia Miller after a jury found Watson guilty of first-degree murder and sexual assault, in addition to other counts in August, CBS Denver reports.

Miller's family did not seek the death penalty because they say that she did not believe in it.

Her son, Brian Miller, said that Watson's life sentence was the best possible outcome in such a traumatic circumstance.

“After seeing this and what went on I’m pretty sure that if he was ever let out someone would be a victim somehow, some way,” Brian Miller told CBS Denver. “We now know that he can’t do that to other people and that’s the best thing that came out of this. That’s the top priority. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen to my mom, but it doesn’t have to happen to anyone else.”

Watson, who was on parole at the time, called Miller using a false name and pretending to be a doctor to make her feel more comfortable with him. On March 5, 2013, he met Miller for the first time in her office in Lakewood, Colorado, after her secretary had left for the day. He threatened Miller with a fake gun and tied her up before torturing and killing her.

Later that day, police arrived at Miller's office, where they found her body in a storage room. She had been beaten, bruised, cut, sexually assaulted and strangled to death, the Denver Post reports.

In the trial, jurors learned that Watson had planned the crime for months. He sought a female attorney practicing family law in order to fulfill a sexual fantasy before robbing the office. He stole Miller's credit cards, cellphone, car, purse, phone cord and underwear.

When the jury read the verdict, Watson cried and hyperventilated, the Miller family said.

Watson has several prior felonies and has violated his parole in the past.

Sources: CBS Denver (2), Denver Post (2)
Photo Credit: Jefferson County District Attorney's Office via Denver Post