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Aubrey Ellen Shomo

Other Colorado Exonerations
On February 11, 2016, Aubrey Ellen Shomo was exonerated of a 2001 misdemeanor battery conviction in Broomfield County, Colorado.

On July 15, 2001, Shomo, then known as Justin Michael Shomo, was 16 and living with his mother. Following two physical confrontations, the 54-year-old woman called police and said Shomo had assaulted her.

On September 10, 2001, Shomo, who had just turned 17, pled no contest to misdemeanor battery and received a deferred adjudication, which he completed successfully.

The following year, Shomo completed a gender transition and changed her name to Aubrey Ellen Shomo.

In 2014, Shomo sought to vacate the criminal conviction on the ground that mental health officials had coerced the guilty plea without any defense lawyer being involved and that in fact she had been the victim of an assault by her mother, rather than the other way around.

By that time, Shomo’s mother had admitted to Shomo that she lied to police about Shomo assaulting her. She said that she didn’t believe police would actually arrest Shomo and she told Shomo that she “felt bad about what happened, and reiterated that she did not think he would have been charged.”

As a result, the State of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman reviewed the case, and found that Shomo would not have been convicted had the evidence been presented in court.

The report concluded that there were two altercations on the day in question. “The first one involved name calling and physical contact over car keys between the caretaker and the complainant,” the report said. “The complainant [Shomo] sustained scratches from the caretaker [his mother].”

The second incident occurred in the Shomo’s bedroom when his mother entered and demanded $10 for a purchase. “As a result, another physical confrontation occurred in which the caretaker appeared to be the instigator and aggressor,” the report said, and “[Shomo] sustained a bite injury.”

The report further stated that Shomo picked up a lantern-style flashlight and warned his mother to stand back. She came after Shomo and swung her arm, but Shomo intercepted the inbound blow with the flashlight. The contact broke the lens and cut the palm of the mother’s hand, the report said. And, the report concluded, although Shomo sustained injuries, there was “no indication…that charges were considered for the caretaker for child abuse/assault…The physical injuries documented in the police reports support [Shomo’s] account more so than the caretaker’s account.”

On February 11th, 2016, nearly fifteen years after Shomo was arrested, a Broomfield County judge vacated Shomo’s no contest plea and dismissed the case.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/22/2016
Most Serious Crime:Assault
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2001
Age at the date of reported crime:16
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No