Cherry Creek lawyer Michael Andre defended Denver's dark side, until he succumbed to his own.
Thomerson and Andre's discussion eventually turned to the evening's plans. The lawyer invited the P.I. to a fashion show at a club on South Broadway, where Andre's wife, Marie, would be one of the models. Thomerson declined but gladly took the opportunity to bust his old friend's balls. A fashion show? Really?
Andre nodded. "I'm going to have a Scotch or something," he said. "This week is crazy."
That was odd. Andre hadn't drunk much since he'd had his reckless run-in with the cops in law school. He'd always been a lightweight, and these days, two drinks could make him nearly comatose. The Andre everyone loved was lively and talkative, but when he was drunk he could barely communicate.
Andre told Thomerson to meet him at Courtroom 1 the next day at 8:30 a.m., and to pick up some case files they planned to go over. Thomerson left to get beers with some friends at a downtown pub. At 8 p.m. his phone rang. It was Andre. "Hey, I'm going to need you to meet me in Courtroom 13 instead. At 8 a.m."
Andre never showed.
Friday, 9:15 a.m.
Her cell phone pinned to her ear, Marlene couldn't move. Andre was still pointing the guns at her face.
"Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod," she said.
She didn't meet his gaze. Marlene couldn't take her eyes off those guns, those dull black guns. She froze for a few seconds, shocked and terrified.
Finally, she turned to her left and ducked, grabbing her buckets and mop and sweeper. As she stood up, Andre had already turned and was walking back toward the basement. She ran out to her car, drove to the end of the block, and parked. She tried calling Marie, Andre's wife. It went straight to voicemail. Marie's phone was off. Or dead.
"Hey Marie, something's going on at your house," Marlene recalls saying. "I don't want to call the police, but if you don't call me back, I'm going to."
She tried the number again. Nothing.
Marlene sat in her car, thinking about Andre and those guns. Where was Marie? And seven-year-old Kayla? Were they in the basement with Andre? Were they OK? She sat at the end of the block for 10 minutes, not knowing what to do. Finally, she dialed 911.
A police officer arrived at Marlene's car within minutes. He asked her what happened, and she rehashed it—the guns, the getthefuckouttamyhouse, her dialing 911. The officer told her that it wasn't Andre's first encounter with authorities that day. Andre had also sent a disturbing e-mail early in the morning to a district attorney he knew. Part of it read, "I don't have to fight anymore. Congratulate me on my death." The DA had asked police to check in on Andre, but when they called the house, nobody answered. Marlene gave the officer Marie's cell phone number and the name of Kayla's elementary school. The police checked, and Kayla—who had stayed with Marie's mother the night before—was in class. Marie, however, was still unaccounted for. While she was talking to the officer, Marlene noticed a growing sea of police uniforms. A SWAT truck arrived, and 30 or 40 officers suddenly materialized. They were evacuating the block.