Attempted murder charge not pursued |

Attempted murder charge not pursued

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Prosecutors have decided not to pursue an attempted murder charge against a man who had been accused of trying to smother his mom with a pillow.The decision comes as Juan Loya’s mother now is telling authorities he didn’t try to kill her.Loya still faces several charges in connection with the Nov. 6 incident on McCarron Court in Rifle. He was formally charged in district court Wednesday. The charges include a felony count of menacing, and misdemeanor charges of assault, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and harassment.Also Wednesday, Magistrate Lain Leoniak declined Maria Loya’s request that an order intended to protect her and her daughter from Loya be lifted.The charges originate from an argument Loya and his mother had after she refused to let him take her car. He originally was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after his mother reportedly told police he tried to smother her with a pillow.However, she later wrote a letter to the court “to let you know that my son Juan Loya did not try to kill me.”She also asked that all charges be dropped.”Help me to help my son get a new life, start all over. … If my son is released, he will be a better person,” she wrote.Maria Loya appeared in court Wednesday. She asked why Loya is under a no-contact order involving her daughter “when she wasn’t even there.””She arrived after we had the argument,” Maria Loya said.However, Leoniak noted that Juan Loya is accused of having shoved the daughter when she got to the residence.Maria Loya also wanted an order protecting her removed because it has forced her son to have to live with friends. Juan Loya supported her request.”I want to stay at home,” he told Leoniak.However, deputy district attorney Jim Leuthauser said he opposed lifting the order, and Leoniak kept it in place.Because the case is still pending, Leuthauser declined to comment on the decision not to charge Loya with attempted murder.Police say Loya also threatened his mother with a knife. He was arrested at a Rifle convenience store by an officer who pulled his gun on Loya after he allegedly advanced toward the officer with his hands in his sweatshirt and ignored an order to stop.Loya could face a sentence of up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted of the menacing charge. He also could face county jail time if convicted of other charges. He is to be represented by a public defender and is free on bond.Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119dwebb@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

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