MONTROSE - Former Cedaredge resident Janice Lee-Dodson, 47, was arrested Friday in Texas on charges of first-degree murder, said Mesa County Sheriff Riecke Claussen.
She is being charged with the murder of her husband, John Bruce Dodson, who was 48 when he died Oct. 15, 1995. She is being held in a Texas jail without bond.
Lee-Dodson reported that her husband had been accidentally shot while the couple was hunting approximately 30 miles southwest of Grand Junction on the Uncompahgre Plateau. She said she didn't know who shot him.
Although Lee-Dodson was considered a suspect from the date of the murder, it took three years to gather enough evidence for an arrest warrant, Claussen said.
"When emergency personnel responded, they felt there were some unusual circumstances," he said. An investigation began immediately and "has been pretty much ongoing since that time."
Claussen wouldn't discuss details of the suspicious circumstances, nor what clues have been gathered that point to Lee-Dodson as the killer.
Sometime after the death of her husband, Lee-Dodson moved to Nocogdoches, Texas. She was arrested there Friday.
Claussen said he had heard that Lee-Dodson had signed an extradition waiver, which would save steps for law enforcement. Without the waiver, the governor of Colorado must request release of the prisoner from the governor of Texas.
In this case, "when a death happens in a really remote area, everything is suspect," Claussen said. "It becomes a matter of elimination, trying to eliminate possibilities. Initially, the story was that no one knew who shot him. From that point, everything and everyone in the vicinity is considered suspect, either for committing a murder or shooting someone accidentally.
"It's a case of gathering lots and lots of information until we feel we finally have enough to prosecute."
That breakthrough came Oct. 20 when Mesa County Court Judge Arthur Smith signed a warrant for Lee-Dodson's arrest.
Lee-Dodson will likely be brought back to Grand Junction sometime in the next 10 days, where her case will be heard in Mesa County Court, Claussen said.
Claussen said his department received a lot of assistance in this case from the CBI in Montrose and the District Attorney's office investigators.
Back to News front back to Montrose front