Trial for woman accused of attempting to hire hit man delayed four months

  • In US
  • 2022-12-02 04:59:00Z
  • By The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Dec. 1-An El Paso County judge on Thursday pushed back the trial of a woman accused of attempting to hire a hit man to kill her ex-fiance after her attorney said he was not ready for trial.

Vanessa Lavaty, who faces three charges of attempted first-degree murder, was scheduled to go to trial Dec. 12. But her attorney, Edward McNeal Favorite II, told Judge William Moller that he needed more time and would waive Lavaty's right to a speedy trial.

Prosecutors told Moller that while they "understood" why the defense needed more time, they objected to the delay on behalf of the victim, Timothy Hanes, who appeared in person for the hearing.

Favorite didn't elaborate why he wasn't ready for trial, but Moller granted the request and moved the trial date to April 3. The trial is expected to last a week.

Lavaty, 33, is accused of hiring a hit man to kill Hanes three days before a shared custody hearing was set to take place regarding their 2-year-old daughter.

"This doesn't make sense. I couldn't begin to imagine why she would do this," Hanes told The Gazette in an earlier interview. "I've never done anything to hurt this woman. She was the love of my life."

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Four months before the alleged deal was made, Lavaty asked her then-boyfriend, Marty Jorgenson, 50, for help finding a person to kill Hanes. Her requests persisted, allegedly making comments such as, "I want his (expletive) buried," and "I really want this (expletive) dead," according to previous reporting by The Gazette.

A detective who testified at Lavaty's preliminary hearing in August said police became involved with the investigation after Jorgenson came to the Colorado Springs Police Department on May 16, concerned about Lavaty's requests.

That same night an undercover officer posing as a hit man arranged to meet with Lavaty and Jorgenson at a Taco Bell in eastern Colorado Springs to discuss the hit, where allegedly Lavaty agreed to pay him $4,000 to kill Hanes.

The detective who posed as the hit man said in testimony this summer that he "gave her opportunities to not move forward with it."

Following her arrest, Lavaty posted a $75,000 bond. She appeared at Thursday's hearing out of custody.

The maximum penalty in Colorado for attempted first-degree murder is 48 years in prison. If convicted of all three charges, Lavaty could face up to 144 years in prison.

Lavaty's pre-trial readiness conference is scheduled for March 16.


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