Criminal Justice

Man charged in Colorado lawyer's death had been on parole for two weeks

A grand jury in Colorado has indicted a parolee in the murder and sexual assault of a Lakewood lawyer found dead by the office cleaning crew earlier this month.

Warren Watson, 52, was indicted Monday on 18 counts, including murder, sexual assault, robbery and identity theft, report the Denver Post, the Associated Press and a press release. Watson had been on parole for a felony conviction for two weeks at the time of the March 5 murder of 66-year-old family law attorney Claudia Miller.

The indictment (PDF) says Watson was on parole for a felony conviction, but gives no further details on his criminal record. Prior coverage by says Watson “has a criminal history spanning at least two decades. He served prison time for burglary, forgery, theft and escape.”

Watson had made an appointment to meet with Miller for the first time on the day of the crime and arrived late after her secretary had left, prosecutors say. According to the indictment, Watson admitted threatening Miller with a fake gun, strangling her and fondling her. He is also accused of stealing her car and using her credit cards.

After releasing surveillance video of a man using Miler’s credit cards, a woman called police, identified the man as Watson and said he was staying at a hotel in Denver, the indictment says. Watson flew to Idaho two days after the crime and was arrested in Boise on March 8.

Miller’s family released this statement: “Claudia was a loving sister, mother, and grandmother, who dedicated her life to helping others. In over 30 years practicing law, she committed herself to helping people navigate a complex legal system, in times of family crisis, when they needed help most. She spent most of her spare time with her adoring grandchildren and friends, and was an avid Broncos and Rockies fan.

“Claudia is survived by two children, three grandchildren, two sisters and many, many other dear friends and relatives who will miss her dearly.”

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