Man Who Shot Surveillance Operative gets 18-Month Prison Term

GOLDEN, Colo. – A man who shot a surveillance operative who was taking videos in connection with a worker’s compensation claim was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison.
Marshall Lawson pled guilty in April to attempted manslaughter in connection with an Aug. 4, 2009, incident in which he fired four rounds at a Denver surveillance operative working for Pinnacol Assurance. The surveillance operator wasn’t injured, but a battery pack and a Nalgene water bottle in his backpack were hit with a bullet each.

He would have been seriously injured or killed had he not been wearing the backpack when the shots were fired.
The surveillance operative was watching Lawson’s residence from a nearby property when Lawson emerged from the house. The operative told police that Lawson said to him, “I see you up there, I’m gonna’ get a gun.” As the operative frantically packed up, he said Lawson pointed and fired at him.
Defense lawyer Dorothea Reiff told Judge Jane Tidball during a court hearing earlier this month that bears had become active in Lawson’s neighborhood, and that Lawson had seen rustling in a tree and called out, “Is anyone there?” before firing. She presented the results of a polygraph during which Lawson was asked whether he’d seen a man when he fired his gun. He said he had not, and the polygraph examiner said Lawson’s answer indicated he was speaking truthfully.

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