SILVERTON – Silverton community members who are still reeling from the homicide of native daughter Jessica McFarland will have a chance to celebrate her life at a memorial service tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 22 at 4 p.m. at the Silverton School Gym.
Her widowed husband, who was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder on June 6, was released on bond last week. In San Juan County District Court last Friday, Judge Gregory Lymon granted a request to modify Michael McFarland’s protection order so that he could briefly speak to his children on the phone on Father’s Day, and also agreed to postpone filing charges until July 1.
McFarland’s attorney reported that his client is already undergoing monitoring for alcohol consumption, a condition of his bond.
An arrest affidavit filed by Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Jeff Brown on June 6 revealed graphic details pertaining to Jessica McFarland’s death. The affidavit indicated that her death was likely due to injuries to her neck inflicted by broken glass rather than a knife.
Statements from Michael McFarland indicate that the couple had been drinking, fighting and throwing bottles at each other before she died.
San Juan County Undersheriff Bruce Conrad described Michael McFarland as “very emotional and kind of out of control” when Conrad responded to the McFarlands’ blood-spattered home minutes after neighbors called 911 at around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, June 6. Conrad also reported smelling alcohol on McFarland’s breath, and described seeing shattered glass in the kitchen and bedroom where his wife’s body lay. As Conrad attempted to revive her, he overheard Mr. McFarland saying “I didn’t do anything” and “I don’t know why she would do this.”
According to the affidavit, McFarland told another CBI agent that he didn’t know how his wife got hurt. But he told his neighbors a different story – that his wife had thrown a bottle at him and he had thrown a bottle back at her, hitting her in the throat. It is, according to the Silverton Standard, this town’s first homicide case since 1985.
In the Standard this week, people who knew Jessica McFarland remembered her as a devoted mother who was beautiful, vivacious, generous and kind.
“Her light was so bright that its extinguishment only accentuates the tragedy of her passing,” said Johnny Gillon, a fellow Silverton native and lifelong friend to Jessica McFarland, who now works at the Revenue Silver Mine near Ouray.
An online fundraiser to cover funeral costs for Jessica McFarland has been set up at www.gofundme.com/a32s38 and there are also donation jars at local branches of Citizen’s State Bank. A fundraiser dinner for the family will be held at the Bent Elbow restaurant on Thursday, June 19 from 5-7:30 p.m.
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