Attorneys pitch opening statements to jury in West Glenwood attempted murder trial
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Almost three-and-a-half years ago, Federico Garcia Hernandez woke up in the early hours of the morning to being hit or stabbed above the eye.
In the West Glenwood Springs trailer park where he lived, three men wearing black masks and gloves pulled him out of his bed by the hair, dragged him into the hallway, and stabbed him four times in the side and arm with a bayonet. After watching the attack, his nephew hit one of the assailants with a chair. His nephew got punched in the face, and the family was held at gunpoint while the men took cash, jewelry and other items.
Garcia Hernandez, his brother and two nephews described the Nov. 30, 2004, crime in court Tuesday during the first day of Samuel Lincoln’s attempted murder trial. Lincoln, 26, faces charges of second-degree attempted murder, assault, burglary, theft and menacing. None of the people who saw the crime could identify the assailants due to the masks.
Lincoln was arrested in December 2005 at the Budget Host when he was shot with less-lethal rounds by law enforcement who were tipped off that he was at that location.
“This case is about two worlds colliding,” said Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch.
She said the world of honest, hardworking people collided with the world of methamphetamine, “where people will do anything to get another hit, to get another shot, to get some more meth.”
Fitch said Lincoln, Lawrence Doty, a man named “AJ,” and Sharon Coelho smoked meth at the Budget Host hotel and planned the crime to get cash to buy more of the drug. Garcia Hernandez paid for the hotel room to help out Coelho. Coelho, 16 at the time, was having problems with her parents. Fitch said Coelho, who will testify at trial, told a detective she suggested robbing Garcia Hernandez and saw the men leave with weapons and later come back to the hotel room with blood on their clothes. Another witness told police he overheard them planning the crime, but left after the group began smoking meth, Fitch said.
“It was indeed a terrible thing that happened in that trailer park in West Glenwood,” said Kathy Goudy, Lincoln’s attorney. “We’re not contesting that the crime happened, what we are saying is it was not Sam Lincoln.”
Goudy attacked Coelho’s credibility, saying the allegations against Lincoln are a “criminal conspiracy” between Coelho and “various men who shared her bedroom.” She said the jury wouldn’t believe Coelho and Coelho “remembered” more when police told her she could get no charges by cooperating.
“The criminal conspiracy here has a mastermind, and that’s Sharon Coelho,” Goudy said. “She got concessions. She got immunity. She got no charges.”
“She is making up this entire story to cover her own little butt,” she added later.
Goudy said Coelho was a “chaos child” and drug addict with track marks in her arms from shooting meth. There’s not “a scintilla” of evidence to tie Lincoln to the crime except for Coelho’s false story, she said.
Lincoln already faces a 222-year prison sentence for shooting at deputies in Mesa County and trying to shoot a man to death in the desert outside Grand Junction.
At one point, Garcia Hernandez lifted up his shirt to show the jury his scars. On his way out of the courtroom, he waved at Lincoln and said, “Adios, amigo, adios.”
A jury found Doty not guilty of the charges against him in January 2007.
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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