Clausen was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree kidnapping of Lacy Miller, the University of Northern Colorado student who went missing Jan. 18. Clausen was informed of the charges against him as a crowded courtroom watched his image on a closed-circuit TV monitor.
Clausen’s parents made no statement as they walked hurriedly from the courtroom, past cameras and reporters to a conference room and then to an elevator. Afterwards, Clausen’s friends hugged and cried, making no comment to the media.
Clausen’s hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30 at 8:15 a.m.
Though not present at Monday’s arraignment, Wendy Cohen, Miller’s mother, fielded questions from media at her house earlier that day.
“I’ve made up my mind; I’m not going to let it destroy me,” Cohen said. “I’ve got a good life, I’ve got good kids, I’ve got a good family, it’s not going to destroy who I am.”
When questioned about the possibility of police having found her daughter’s body, she said she is relieved, sad and grateful to everyone who helped. She said she was told a body found Sunday at Stove Prairie and Highway 14 is likely her daughter’s.
“It’s a huge relief,” Cohen said. “It’s a horrible feeling to not know. I can handle anything if I know what I’m dealing with. Now I know, and that’s better than not knowing.”
Cohen expressed gratitude towards those who had helped in the search for her daughter, saying, “You know it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to find a child.”
Cohen said she is focusing on pulling things back together rather than the details of Clausen’s trial. She said police have told her that she will know everything eventually.
“My energy is going to be on pulling my family back together, my life back together and honoring Lacy, and being a good teacher and good person. That’s where I’m going,” Cohen said.
When asked if she would be seeking the maximum sentence, Cohen said she didn’t want the death penalty for Clausen.
“I don’t want the death penalty. I don’t think two deaths make a right. I’m against that sort of thing,” Cohen said. “I don’t think I want that on my hands. I don’t think we need to play God any more than this kid needed to play God.”
Cohen compared her reality to a bad dream, pondering the night’s outcome had her daughter been somewhere else.
“I really think more about, what if I would have talked to her for five more minutes, or (if) she would have taken a different turn or stayed at the party longer, (or) spent the night at Amanda’s?” she said. “You know, that’s the kind of thing that I think about.”
Pull Quote: “I’ve made up my mind, I’m not going to let it destroy me,” said Cohen. “I’ve got a good life, I’ve got good kids, I’ve got a good family, its not going to destroy who I am.” -Wendy Cohen
Pull Quote: “My energy is going to be on pulling my family back together, my life back together and honoring Lacy, and being a good teacher and good person, that’s where I’m going.” Cohen said.