Saturday, November 17, 2001
It's been more than a year since Steamboat Springs residents learned of the tragic loss of Lori Bases in their community.
Bases was brutally murdered slashed repeatedly and left to die by someone who had little compassion for a person who has been described as "the best friend anyone could ask for."
The devastating loss to the family is indescribable, the pain unfathomable, the outpouring of sympathy received immeasurable.
The arrest and trial of Thomas Lee Johnson has been a truly painstaking process and a test of patience for the police, prosecution, the families involved and the community as a whole.
This week a Larimer County jury found the 31-year-old man guilty of taking Bases' life which, hopefully, will close an ugly chapter in Steamboat's history and open the door for closure for the family and for the community as well.
The Steamboat Springs Police Department, the Routt County Sheriff's Office and the 14th Judicial District Attorney's office should be commended for the work they did on this case. As well, court-appointed defense attorney Norm Townsend was critical to ensuring a fair and expeditious judicial process.
The Steamboat Springs community is not used to such a brutal display of violence. Prior to Bases' death, the last murder here occurred almost 10 years ago in 1993.
It is understandable that the city's residents are struck with horror and dismay when such an event occurs.
But with this verdict and the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Jan. 16, we will get an opportunity to move forward and get beyond the tragedy of May 11, 2000.
"I'm trying to have a life all over again," said Kimberly Goodwin, best friend of Lori Bases. "I can't change what happened. Today, Lori would want me to go on. She would want all of us to move on."
Hopefully, with this verdict, closure can indeed be reached, the victim's life remembered and honored, and we can move on.