Denver man who claimed wife shot herself charged with first-degree murder

Posted at 2:38 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 16:38:18-05

DENVER – A man accused of shooting his wife to death last week, then claiming she had shot herself, has been formally charged with first-degree murder.

Cain Wilkens, 44, was arrested Jan. 22 in connection to the death of his 30-year-old wife, Clarissa Wilkens.

Wilkens was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive inside her home in the 1500 block of South Albion Street on Jan. 21.

Denver police wrote in an arrest affidavit for Wilkens that they’d initially responded to the home after an attempted suicide was reported. Wilkens had reportedly gone to the building manager’s office in the middle of the night to report his wife had shot herself.

Detectives searched the apartment and found evidence of a scuffle, including a broken picture frame and items that were tipped over, according to the affidavit. A witness also reported hearing a woman screaming "no" repeatedly and a man yelling, "Get back here."

The Denver medical examiner found Clarissa Wilkens had been shot once in the back of her head, and found no signs of close-range gunshot residue or blood on her hands, leading officers to believe she hadn’t shot herself.

The charge against Wilkens was filed directly in Denver District Court last Friday. His first court appearance has not yet been set.