BOULDER — The attorney for a couple who stabbed and beat to death an intruder in their Sunshine Canyon home last week says they are working to move on with their lives.
“They are trying to put this whole incident behind them,” Boulder attorney Howard Bittman said Tuesday.
Scott Mattes, 56, and Becci Starr, 59, were cleared of any wrongdoing when the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office on Monday evening determined that Colorado’s “Make My Day” law applied to the Oct. 3 incident.
“This has been a traumatic experience from start to finish, and the trauma is continuing, I think,” Bittman said.
He said Mattes and Starr are relieved to know that prosecutors determined they were justified in defending themselves and their home — “but that isn’t something that wasn’t anticipated,” he said.
Recordings from Starr’s sometimes frantic 911 call indicate that the still-unidentified intruder gained entry to the couple’s house by saying “Boulder County police” when Starr went to answer the door that night.
Starr told dispatchers she opened the door of her home at 135 Poorman Road to find a masked man wielding a gun.
She pushed him away and pulled his mask off, believing it was her husband pulling a prank, but soon realized the incident was no joke.
“And I’m still saying to (the man), ‘Look, you don’t want to do this. What are you, crazy? Get out of here,’” she told dispatchers.
She reached for a metal baseball bat kept by the door and began swinging, the tape indicates. “Like, I must have hit him 20 times ... the guy kept coming at me. And then my husband came and (the man) tried to cut him up. And this guy is like — I mean, I’m telling you I’ve seen a lot of movies, but boy it takes a lot to beat somebody down,” Starr said on the tape.
During the six-minute call, Starr explained how she and her husband were able to wrestle the knife away from the intruder, and Mattes stabbed the man with it.
“Multiple stab wounds. I’m sure of it,” Starr said on the tape. “My husband was in a rage. I hope it’s not like a bad thing. I mean this guy came into our house. I’m freaking out now, you know, because he’s (expletive) dying in my front yard.”
As she waited for the five deputies who’d been dispatched to her house to arrive, Starr told dispatchers: “I don’t see anyone coming up the canyon. I’m so terrified he’s going to die. I don’t want that on my life, you know?”
Reports show Mattes — who had been pepper-sprayed by the intruder — tried to use CPR to resuscitate the man as rescuers rushed to the scene, but to no avail. When deputies arrived 10 minutes later, the man was dead.
More than a week after the man’s death, investigators are still working to figure out who he is.
“Hopefully, maybe, we’ll get a missing persons report. I hope somebody would be missing this person,” Gang said.
Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at email@example.com.