Cherry Creek lawyer Michael Andre defended Denver's dark side, until he succumbed to his own.
Marie liked him immediately. He was smart and funny, even jolly, with that big toothy smile. She asked him to lunch; he picked her up on his motorcycle and took her to the Applebee's near her Aurora office. That weekend they went to Elitch Gardens.
Andre was chivalrous, at least compared to the boyfriend she'd been living with since she was 15. After only a couple dates, Marie asked Andre to help her move out, and she all but moved into his Park Hill bungalow.
A few months later, Marie got pregnant. It was a surprise, but they were excited, particularly Andre. Kayla was born a few months after Marie's 19th birthday. Five years later, they finally married at the elegant Grant-Humphreys Mansion near Governor's Park. Two hundred people, gorgeous flowers, tray after tray of swanky appetizers before a sit-down dinner—the kind of wedding that suited a flashy defense attorney. Kayla was the flower girl. Andre planned the entertainment in secret, but knowing him like she did, Marie wasn't shocked when Andre crooned Bryan Adams' "The Best of Me" as she walked down the aisle and Terence Trent D'Arby's "Sign Your Name" at the altar. At the moment when all eyes are usually on the bride, Andre stole the show.
Yeah, Andre would've liked the fashion show. He liked watching Marie perform. In 2001, when she was a manager at Kohl's, a coworker had quit and started stripping at the Diamond Cabaret. The friend urged Marie to join her; when she presented the idea to Andre, he dared his wife. You're too shy, she recalls him saying. So, less than a year after Kayla was born, still shedding post-partum weight, Marie took the stage at the Diamond. During his lunch break at the courthouse, Andre would walk over and eat at the bar while he watched his wife shed her clothes for a roomful of slack-jawed men.
On her way to meet the detective at Wendy's, Marie's phone rang. It was a restricted line. Was it their house phone?
"Hello?" she answered.
"Goodbye," Andre said.
"Dre? Talk to me? Dre!"
Her phone died.
Strippers and Traffic Tickets
Michael Andre built his law practice while tending bar at another Bennigan's, on Colorado Boulevard in Denver. Strippers from the nearby Shotgun Willie's would come in after their shifts, tired, needing a drink, and ready, after hours of feigning interest in men holding dollars in the air, for someone to finally listen to their problems. They had the usual issues—rent's due, boyfriend's an asshole, traffic tickets. Lots of traffic tickets, actually. Strippers, Andre learned, are terrible drivers.