2 ordered to stand trial in death of woman bound crucifixion-style in closet

Published: Friday, June 3 2011 5:00 p.m. MDT

She testified she let Harms into her home and saw bruises on the woman's chest and wrists. She called around, trying to find a place at a shelter and ultimately took Harms on errands with her.

"She told me she was only allowed to eat one cup of uncooked rice a day, one cup of water a day," Bazinet said.

Later, Bazinet heard police talking about Harms and told them she knew where the woman was.

"(Harms) went in my bathroom and shut the bathroom door," Bazinet said. "She sat down in the dark, rolling back and forth, crying hysterically and begging me not to let them take her."

Before the judge's decision, attorney Rudy Bautista, who represents Dale Beckering, argued that his client works 12-hour days and had no legal or custodial obligation to Harms. Nor did he believe prosecutors proved the intent or knowledge of abuse, as required by statute.

"The state overcharged (Dale Beckering)," Bautista said, arguing that the man's involvement warranted a misdemeanor charge as opposed to a felony. "The state has not proven he knew or wanted to see (Harms) suffer death or physical injury."

Platt said Harms went to Bazinet in July 2010, within the time frame it is believed the Beckerings were watching Harms because Shepard was overwhelmed.

"There were bruises when (Shepard) wasn't even in the picture," Platt said. "There isn't some magical moment where (Shepard) comes onto the scene and they said, 'We aren't involved anymore.' That is simply not reasonable."

Shepard is charged with murder and aggravated abuse of disabled adult, first-degree felonies, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. Her next court appearance is slated for July 11. The couple will have an arraignment on June 20.

Email: emorgan@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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