A Minnesota Taekwondo The master is accused of recruiting a former student-turned-girlfriend to kill the mother of his 5-year-old son, prosecutors said.
Timothy Allen Amacher, 41, and Colleen Larson, 24, have been charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder in the April shooting of Nicole Lenway, 33, according to a brief reviewed by Oxygen. com. Amacher also faces subsequent charges of conspiracy and aiding and abetting an accomplice.
Larson was released June 5 after posting bail. Amacher is being held in the Hennepin County Jail on $1,000,000 bail.
The victim, Lenway, is a forensic scientist with the Minneapolis Police Department. Amacher is referred to in the court filings as a “prominent martial arts instructor.”
Amacher reportedly met his current girlfriend Larson when she was around 13 years old, and she moved into his house around the time his son was born in 2016. She reportedly denied they were romantically involved until 2021, but often babysat Armacher’s son before the court restricted him to supervised visits after an ongoing, bitter custody battle with Lenway.
Lenway and Amacher dated for four years, from 2012 to 2016, but split before their son was born on June 20, 2016, prosecutors say.
“After the birth of the child, they attempted to become parents together, but the defendant constantly threatened the victim and also asked her to reconcile their relationship,” prosecutors wrote in the brief. “When the victim began dating someone else in July 2017, the defendant’s threatening behavior intensified.”
Over the next four years, relations between the former couple continued to deteriorate, with each filing protective orders against the other, prosecutors say. They added that Amacher “falsely accused [the] Victim of child abuse on at least a dozen occasions. “
Amacher also charged Lenway with domestic assault in May 2018, but a jury acquitted her of all charges on January 11, 2019.
After the verdict, the judge said to Lenway, “I want to congratulate you. I can’t imagine what you went through.”
Lenway was shot dead on April 20 outside Family Wise, a parenting center in Minneapolis. At the time of the shooting, Amacher was having a supervised visit with the estranged couple’s son, according to the legal brief.
She survived and was discharged from hospital after being treated for a perforated lung and gunshot wounds to her neck and arm, prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, a 2022 Black Dodge Ram with no license plate was caught on surveillance video at 7:21 p.m. on April 20 as it drove past the Family Wise parking lot and then parked about a block away. They claim the car belonged to Amacher, but that Larson was driving.
Lenway got out of her car in the Family Wise parking lot at 7:28 p.m. At that point, prosecutors said Larson — dressed all in black and wearing a face mask — ran to catch up with them.
“About ten seconds later, Ms. Larson drew a gun and began shooting at Lenway,” they wrote in court documents. “Surveillance video from a store across the street shows the victim fell after Ms. Larson shot her and Ms. Larson continued to shoot the victim after she was down. Ms. Larson turned to run back south to the Dodge Ram, but saw that the victim had stood up to flee and continued to fire at her. The victim escaped and Ms. Larson ran back to the Dodge Ram.”
Police collected three discharged .380 cartridge cases and three live rounds on the ground at the scene of the shooting.
In an interview with Lenway – who was unable to speak at the time and had to write down her answers – at the hospital, pHe told investigators that Amacher owned about 10 guns and “she knew something like this was going to happen one day.”
While executing a search warrant at Amacher’s St. Paul home, police found several firearms, but no .380. However, they reportedly found an empty case for a .380, magazines for a .380, and unloaded .380 cartridge cases.
The Hennepin County Crime Lab compared the shell casings found in Amacher’s home to those found in the Family Wise parking lot and concluded they were fired from the same gun.
Both Larson and Amacher initially denied any involvement in the shooting of Lenway.
However, investigators discovered that just three hours before the shooting, Larson sent emails to multiple news outlets alleging that “the family court umpire unfairly stripped the defendant of his parental rights because the defendant is black.”
“The email outlined some of the same child molestation allegations that had previously been shown to be false, fabricated and/or coached,” the letter reads.
A friend and former roommate of Amacher’s contacted police nine days after the shooting and told them another man said Amacher had offered him $50,000 to kill Lenway.
In an interview with police on May 24, Larson reportedly confessed to the crime.
“MS. Larson stated that she and the defendant discussed killing the victim a week or two before the shooting,” the brief said. “MS. Larson asked the defendant if he would allow her to adopt the defendant’s son. The defendant told her that the victim would never allow that, but if the victim weren’t around, he would allow Mrs. Larson to adopt his son.
“The defendant later asked the victim if she was comfortable with this and if she could be the one to pull the trigger,” they added.
Larson allegedly told police that after the shooting she cut up her clothes and gave the gun to Amacher.
Prosecutors said Amacher took advantage of Larson, whom they describe as a “significantly younger and disturbingly loyal former student of his.”
Oxygen. com could not reach the attorneys representing Amacher or Larson.