David Lechner verdict: Jury finds Colorado man guilty of murdering soon-to-be ex-wife in March 2023

Woman killed outside home in domestic violence-related shooting near Cherry Creek State Park
Posted at 4:44 PM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 13:45:24-04

UPDATE | Monday, April 22 — David Lechner was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Monday morning. The family spoke in court about Tracy Lechner's life. Read more here.


ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A jury convicted David Lechner of murder after he stood trial this week on charges that he killed his soon-to-be ex-wife at her Denver-area home in March 2023.

The jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict on three of the counts against David Lechner, including first-degree murder after deliberation, attempted second-degree murder and prohibited use of a stun gun. He was found not guilty of menacing, the fourth charge against him.

Deliberations officially began at 12:15 p.m. Thursday and the jury reached the verdict at 4:15 p.m., the judge said.

While the victim's family hoped for immediate sentencing, it was delayed to Monday at 9 a.m. because the verdict was read late in the day, the prosecution said.

On March 30, 2023, David Samuel Lechner, who was 45 years old at the time, was arrested after he allegedly shot and killed Tracy Lee Lechner, 42, that morning. The shooting happened outside a home along the 5200 block of S. Geneva Way, southwest of Cherry Creek Reservoir in the Hills West at Cherry Creek neighborhood. David Lechner then tried to flee from the scene in a car, law enforcement said. Tracy Lechner died at the scene.

They were going through a divorce at the time and had two young children. Their divorce was set to be finalized the following day.

David Lechner was charged with first-degree murder after deliberation, attempted second-degree kidnapping, use of a stun gun and felony menacing with a real or simulated weapon following his arrest. A judge set a $100 million bond in June 2023. David Lechner pleaded not guilty in December 2023 and the trial was set for April.

Opening statements began on Monday and after a few days of witness testimony, both sides rested and closing arguments started Thursday just before 11 a.m.

Woman killed outside home in domestic violence-related shooting near Cherry Creek State Park

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David Lechner trial: Closing arguments wrap, jury deliberations begin

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Prosecutors argued that David Lechner purchased materials — including a tarp, duct tape and zip ties — before the shooting and went to Tracy Lechner's home that morning with a firearm and bullets. They said he had planned to kill her and she fought back. The prosecution stressed that his "end game" was her death.

“Tracy Lechner’s murder did not just happen," a prosecutor said. "This defendant did not just happen upon her driveway… He did not just happen to put three bullets in her body… This was a deliberate murder.”

The defense argued that David Lechner acted in self-defense and had not planned to kill Tracy Lechner when he went to her home that day. They added that the witnesses did not see how the argument — which ended in the open garage — began.

"He did not go there to kill her," the defense said. "He did not intend to kill her that day.”

They noted that he had stab wounds. Read more about Thursday's closing arguments here.

Closing arguments ended just after noon on Thursday. He was found guilty of murder that same afternoon.

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