GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The trial of a man accused of stabbing another man in a fight outside a downtown bar more than two years ago has been delayed for the second time.
The trial was set to begin on Nov. 26 and last for three weeks. The first trial, which also was vacated, was scheduled for four weeks in April and May, 2012, according to court documents.
The defendant, Toby Aaron Gallegos, 29, has been in federal custody in Las Vegas, Nev., since August, when he was arrested on a charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He was free on bond in the local case at the time.
Because Gallegos was unable to consult with his attorneys in the local case while in federal detention in Nevada, District Judge Denise Lynch agreed on Thursday to vacate the November trial and reschedule a new one.
"We're looking at shortly after the first of the year," Lynch cautioned the attorneys on both sides of the case. "I don't want to go too far out."
The new trial date is to be set in a hearing on Dec. 6.
Gallegos is now lodged in the Garfield County Jail after being brought here from Las Vegas by the U.S. Marshall's Service, and is to be held here for the next few weeks while the judge and the attorneys determine how to proceed in the case.
Gallegos currently is being represented by local attorney Garth McCarty, his fourth lawyer since being arrested.
His previous attorneys have included public defender Jim Conway and private attorney Tom Silverman. McCarty represented him once before, withdrew from the case in October when Silverman was appointed, and has been put back on the case now that Silverman has withdrawn.
The multiple delays drew sharp criticism from Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan on Thursday.
"Our case is getting worse every single day," she told the judge. "At this point, delay is the defendant's best friend." She said the revolving set of attorneys "really smacks of some kind of gamesmanship" on the part of the defense, an accusation that McCarty hotly denied.
Bryan said the delays have caused difficulties in keeping track of witnesses in the case, among other problems.
Judge Lynch, agreeing that the case has been "frustrating," told Gallegos that any negative consequences over the delay "is the result of the defendant's own actions" and should not reflect badly against the prosecution or the court.
Police allege that Gallegos stabbed another man during a 1 a.m. fight on Sept. 26, 2010, in the 800 block of an alley between Grand and Colorado avenues, in Glenwood Springs.
Gallegos was arrested that day and charged with attempted second degree murder and first degree assault resulting in serious bodily injury.