Case in Glenwood stabbing moves forward
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The attempted murder and assault case against a Glenwood Springs man for a Sept. 26, 2010, stabbing incident downtown will proceed toward trial.
Garfield County District Judge Denise Lynch ruled after testimony in a Tuesday preliminary hearing that enough evidence exists to support the charges against 27-year-old Toby Gallegos.
Gallegos faces felony charges of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault causing serious bodily injury, in connection with a late-night fight outside the Loyal Brothers Lounge.
The incident resulted in a serious stab wound to the upper left arm of Doug Diaz, now 29, who was rushed to the hospital with what doctors later told authorities was a potentially life-threatening injury.
Diaz testified in the Tuesday hearing that he can no longer use the arm as a result of nerve damage, and had to give up his work as a construction sub-contractor.
He now works as a customer service representative for a credit card processing company.
Diaz described the alleged attack by Gallegos in the alleyway behind Loyal Brothers around 1 a.m. that night. He said he turned in a defensive stance with his left arm ready to throw a punch as Gallegos approached him.
“I never saw a weapon at the time, but just remember that all of a sudden there was blood everywhere and my arm was cut wide open,” he said.
When he saw that he was losing a lot of blood, he got help to get to a car and to the hospital, Diaz testified.
When police arrived at the scene, they found a pocket knife in the alley, which Gallegos had allegedly used to stab Diaz.
Public defender Jim Conway, who is representing Gallegos, said there are still questions about the series of events leading up to the altercation, and whether it was Gallegos or Diaz who was the aggressor.
He said the evidence doesn’t support the second-degree murder charge, though he did not contest the assault count.
“This may have been an attempt not to cause death, but to defend himself,” Conway said of Gallegos in his arguments before the judge.
Witnesses at the scene said the fight erupted after Diaz allegedly punched and knocked out a friend of Gallegos outside the bar.
According to court records, when Gallegos confronted Diaz about the incident, he claimed it was Diaz who “jumped” him and threw the first punch. The fact that Gallegos was also covered with Diaz’s blood suggests that Diaz continued the fight after he was stabbed.
“A fair reading of the evidence is that Mr. Diaz was the aggressor here,” Conway said.
Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan said Gallegos “knowingly engaged in conduct that constituted a substantial step toward the commission of murder,” thus supporting the second-degree murder charge.
Gallegos remains free on $15,000 bond. The case was set for an Aug. 4 arraignment hearing.
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.