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Taekwondo Master Asked Student-Turned-Girlfriend to Kill His Ex Amid Bitter Custody Battle: Prosecutors

Timothy Allen Amacher, via Hennepin County Jail

Timothy Allen Amacher, via Hennepin County Jail

A Minnesota man charged with attempting to kill his ex recruited his new girlfriend to “pull the trigger,” prosecutors say.

According to recently filed court documents, Colleen Purificacion Larson, 24, confessed to investigators that she and Timothy Allen Amacher planned the attack together about a week or two in advance of the April ambush on Nicole Lenway that left her in critical condition.

Amacher, a Taekwondo master authorities described as “prominent,” is currently charged with one count each of first-degree attempted premeditated murder, conspiracy, and aiding an offender as an accomplice after the fact. Larson is currently facing one count of first-degree attempted premeditated murder.

A report from May identified Lenway as a Minneapolis Police Department forensic scientist.

Amacher earlier this month sought to have the charges against him dismissed for lack of probable cause. Prosecutors responded last week with a court filing that included new information about the evidence the state has against Amacher, including an alleged confession from Larson.

According to prosecutors, Lenway arrived at approximately 7:18 p.m. on April 20, 2022 at the parking of FamilyWise, a parenting center to pick up her and Amacher’s 5-year-old son. At the time, Amacher was apparently inside the facility with his child for a weekly supervised visitation.

Colleen Larson

Colleen Larson, Hennepin County Jail

Surveillance footage allegedly shows Lenway waiting in her car for a few minutes. At approximately 7:21 p.m. a black truck with no license plates pulls into the parking lot and stops at the south end. Larson, wearing all black and a medical mask, allegedly gets out of the truck, walked past Lenway’s car, and then hid in some trees.

Lenway at approximately 7:28 p.m. allegedly exits her car and starts walking North towards the FamilyWise building when she is “instantly” ambushed by Larson.

“Ms. Larson pulled out a gun and began firing at [Lenway]. Surveillance footage from a business across the street shows [Lenway] fell after Ms. Larson shot her, and that Ms. Larson continued to shoot at [Lenway] after she was on the ground,” documents said. “Ms. Larson turned to run back south toward the Dodge Ram, but saw that [Lenway] had stood up to flee, and continued to shoot at her.”

Lenway sustained one bullet to the neck and another to her arm. She also suffered a collapsed lung.

In a proffer with state attorneys on May 24, Larson, who had been a Taekwondo student under Amacher since she was “12 or 13,” allegedly went on the record saying that she and Amacher began discussing Lenway’s murder “a week or two before the shooting,” according to the filing.

“Ms. Larson had asked Defendant whether he would let her adopt [Amacher’s] son. [Amacher] told her that [Lenway] would never let that happen, but that if [Lenway] were not around, he would allow Ms. Larson to adopt his son,” the filing states. “Later, [Amacher] asked Victim if she ‘felt comfortable’ doing it, and if she could be the one to ‘pull the trigger.’ Ms. Larson was aware of [Amacher’s] visitation schedule. She stated that Amacher told her which gun to use.”

After Larson shot Lenway, she allegedly told the police that she gave the gun to Amacher who “indicated he would get rid of it,” documents said.

The filing also said that Amacher had gone to “disturbing lengths” to “try to gain custody of his son and ruin [Lenway’s] life.”

“In addition to filing multiple false reports of child abuse and manipulating and training his son to incriminate Lenway, he also allegedly offered a friend $50,000 to put a ‘hit’ on [Lenway] a month or two before the shooting,” the filing said.

State prosecutors also recently filed a notice with the court stating their intention to seek an upward departure in Amacher’s sentencing, should he be found guilty at trial. Prosecutors wrote that because the shooting took place in the parking lot of a nonprofit parenting center designed to promote the “safety, stability, and wellbeing of children,” the crime was “significantly more serious” than a typical attempted murder.

A hearing on the motion is currently scheduled to take place before Judge Shereen Askalani on June 15. Amacher remains in Hennepin County Jail on $1,000,000 bond. Larson was reportedly released after posting bond of $300,000.

Read prosecutors’ brief below:

[Image via Hennepin County Jail]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.