GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — All charges against Josue Joya, the accused accomplice in the July 31 murder of Douglas Menjivar outside Glenwood Springs, were dismissed Friday by District Attorney Sherry Caloia.
“We received evidence back from CBI and some phone records that showed we don’t have a case against Mr. Joya,” Caloia said Friday after District Judge Denise Lynch ruled upon receiving the DA’s motion to dismiss the case.
Included in that evidence was a bloody towel found in Joya’s vehicle, which Joya had used to drive murder suspect Fredy Cabrera to the murder scene, unaware of Cabrera’s intentions, Joya told police.
Caloia said tests came back showing the blood was Joya’s, supporting his claim that he had cut himself at work and used the towel to wipe off the blood, Caloia said.
Also, cell phone records placed Joya in the Carbondale and Basalt areas after the murder. Joya had also told police he immediately drove away from the scene after hearing gun shots, leaving Cabrera there.
“That was it, we just felt like we needed to dismiss the case, so he could get on with his life,” Caloia said.
Joya, 20, had been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and murder in the first degree, under the theory that anyone involved in a murder is also charged. He had been held in the Garfield County Jail on $250,000 bond, until his release after the judge’s ruling.
His court-appointed attorney, Garth McCarty, had requested a preliminary hearing in the case, which was to take place later this month.
Cabrera, 39, is charged with first-degree murder and remains in the Garfield County Jail without bond. His case was continued after a Thursday hearing until Nov. 21, while public defender Tina Fang is reviewing evidence in the case and awaiting crime scene photos from the CBI.
Menjivar, 21, reportedly had angered Cabrera by moving in with Cabrera’s 18-year-old stepdaughter, Leydy Trejo, at an apartment complex south of Glenwood Springs.
According to authorities, Joya told investigators that Cabrera convinced him to drive to the apartment complex the night of July 31, where Cabrera allegedly shot and killed Menjivar, and at the same time wounded Trejo in the leg.
A pistol was later found by police at the murder scene. Joya repeatedly denied knowing anything about Cabrera’s intentions. As soon as Joya heard the shots, he told police, he drove away in his Jeep and left Cabrera at the complex.
Cabrera was arrested in Grand Junction the following day.
Caloia said the Jeep, which is still in the custody of the Garfield County Sheriff, will remain in evidence, as requested by Cabrera’s attorney at his Thursday hearing.
“We just felt like we needed to dismiss the case, so he could get on with his life.”