Defense awaiting evidence in murder case
October 21, 2013
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Among the volumes of evidence in restaurant owner Fredy Cabrera's murder case are hundreds of photos of the crime scene that the public defender's office is still awaiting from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Cabrera, 39, of El Jebel, is charged with first-degree murder stemming from the July 31 shooting death of Douglas Menjivar outside an apartment complex south of Glenwood Springs.
"We can't evaluate the physical evidence in a vacuum," Tina Fang, who is representing Cabrera on behalf of the state, advised Garfield District Judge Denise Lynch during a Thursday court appearance.
"We need the crime scene photos to put it in context … it is a rather huge element of this case," Fang said in arguing for a continuance in the case.
Lynch granted the request and ordered Cabrera back in court on Nov. 21, with the likelihood that the case will be headed for a preliminary hearing in January.
A request by Assistant Ninth District Attorney Scott Turner to extend a no-contact protection order to Menjivar's stepfather was also granted by Judge Lynch.
Cabrera is being held at the Garfield County Jail without bond.
After charges were filed and the case was formally turned over to the public defender on Aug. 21, Fang said it took another 20 days before she received some 3,500 pages of evidence. Still missing are the crime scene photos, she said.
Lynch said she will issue an order for CBI to provide the photos by Oct. 31.
Fang also asked the judge that the Garfield County Sheriff's Office not be allowed to release some of the other evidence in the case, including a Jeep Liberty used by alleged accomplice Josue Joya to drive Cabrera to the murder scene.
"That is an integral piece of evidence," Fang said.
Joya, 20, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the case. He remains in the Garfield County Jail on $250,000 bond.
Cabrera allegedly shot Menjivar several times the night of July 31 outside his apartment south of Glenwood Springs, where he had been living with Cabrera's 18-year-old stepdaughter, Leydy Trejo.
Trejo was also injured during the shooting, and had to undergo emergency surgery in Denver. Cabrera, who is also charged with felony assault related to his stepdaughter's shooting, was reportedly upset that Menjivar and Trejo were dating
Cabrera, who owns the El Horizonte restaurants in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Meanwhile, Joya told police he drove Cabrera to the scene of the murder but left after hearing shots. He is charged with conspiracy to commit first degree murder and being an accessory to a felony, which carry a maximum sentence of 54 years in prison if convicted.
The case was delayed after Cabrera's Aug. 1 arrest in Grand Junction after questions arose as to whether he was financially qualified to be represented by the public defender's office.