CO Woman Facing Felony Warrant For Abusing 'Red Flag' Law

A Colorado woman who tried to take out an Extreme Risk Protection Order against the police officer who shot and killed her son in 2017 is now facing a felony perjury charge and has a warrant out for her arrest. We first told you about Susan Holmes a few weeks ago, when she first filed the application to declare Cpl. Phillip Morris a risk to himself or others. Holmes declared on her application that she and Morris had children together, which isn’t true. Instead, it was Morris and another officer who shot her son Jeremy three years ago in an incident police described as “suicide by cop.”

The judge denied Susan Holmes’ petition on Jan. 16. The fact she is not related to Morris was one of the key reasons for the denial.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) said deputies have attempted to serve their warrant multiple times since last week. She is not in custody.

The sheriff’s office also put out a digital “wanted poster” for Holmes.

“Every week we put out one for the most egregious or the most public interest charge to generate public interest and leads,” said LCSO spokesman Jared Kramer.

I’m sure that Susan Holmes is devastated by the loss of her son. In fact, it sounds like she might be able to use some mental health services to help her cope with her grief. Unfortunately, as the Colorado Springs Gazette covered in an extensive series in 2019, Colorado’s mental health system is failing to keep up with the demand from state residents. Frankly, that’s one reason some lawmakers support things like “red flag” laws to begin with; they allow politicians to say they’re “doing something,” even if they’re not addressing the real crisis in the mental health system.

It’s also good to see the Latimer County Sheriff take the fraudulent attempt to disarm Cpl. Morris seriously. Gun owners and Second Amendment supporters warned before the state’s red flag law took effect that people would try to use it to go after people they didn’t like, and it only took a couple of weeks for it to actually happen. Law enforcement has to crack down on any attempt to weaponize the red flag law, and it sounds like the sheriff is doing exactly that.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith was highly critical of Holmes and said on Facebook that the Sheriff’s Office would be exploring charges against her. Smith will make a statement on the charges on Friday, Kramer said.

In a complaint filed in 8th Judicial District court on Jan. 23, District Attorney Cliff Riedel said that Holmes attempted to influence Howard by means of deceit and knowingly made a false statement.

Holmes “unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly made a materially false statement, alleging that she had legal standing and that Larimer County had venue over an application for an Extreme Risk Protection Order, which she did not believe to be true,” the complaint said.

I hope that Holmes gets the help she needs and the justice she deserves, and I hope that the legislators in Colorado who pushed the red flag law are aware of the problems it’s already creating.