Cops nab suspect in Parachute robbery |

Cops nab suspect in Parachute robbery

Post Independent Staff reports
Glenwood Springs, CO, Colorado
Jesus Gandarilla-Torres

PARACHUTE – Mesa County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Jesus Gandarilla-Torres, the suspect in the June 8 robbery of a Parachute convenience store, after a search of his residence in Grand Junction.

Gandarilla-Torres, also known as Marcelino Del La Paz, was being held at the Mesa County Detention Center, according to a press release from the Parachute Police Department.

Parachute police said investigators followed several leads that led to the arrest of Gandarilla-Torres.

According to authorities, the man walked into the Tiendita del Paisano Convenience Store on First Street and demanded money from the clerk, saying he had a gun under his jacket. The incident happened just before 4 p.m. on June 8.

The robber got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot, according to police.

A 12-person jury in Glenwood Springs on Tuesday convicted Jerry D. Snider Jr., 31, of murdering his father with a hatchet at the father’s home in Rangely in July 2009.

The jury of nine women and three men unanimously agreed that Snider bludgeoned his father to death with the ax, as his father was seated in a recliner chair at home.

Snider then stole his father’s wallet, credit cards and truck keys, and drove away. As a result, Snider also was convicted of aggravated robbery.

The case originally was tried in Meeker, which is in Rio Blanco County and in the same judicial district as Glenwood Springs. But that trial ended in a hung jury and had to be moved to Garfield County.

Snider’s attorney, public defender Tina Fang, had tried to show that Snider was suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms at the time, and should not be held accountable for his actions, according to a statement from 9th Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson.

According to the statement, Snider had a history of prolonged and heavy drug and alcohol abuse dating back to the age of 15. Just two days prior to the murder he had finished off a seven- to 10-day drinking binge.

Sentencing in the case is set for Nov. 9.

Snider, a two-time convicted felon prior to the murder of his father, faces a potential sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 48 years, according to the DA’s office.

A recommendation to raise Glenwood Springs city electric rates 3 percent goes before City Council at its regular meeting, beginning at 6 p.m. today at Glenwood Springs City Hall.

The city commissioned a review of its utility rates last year, in which consultants suggested a 5.5 percent electric rate increase would be necessary by 2013. The increase is a result of anticipated increases in the city’s wholesale electric costs when it re-negotiates its purchased power agreement next year.

“My recommendation for a 3 percent rate (increase) at this time is premised on the fact that we do not yet know what our wholesale power costs will be in January 2013, but we do know they will be going up,” Glenwood Springs Public Works Director Robin Millyard indicated in a June 9 memo. “It is generally more desirable to have smaller rate increases over a two- or three-year period, as opposed to a one-time larger rate increase.”

Also on city council’s agenda will be an update from the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, and a recommendation to reappoint former city council member Shelley Kaup to the Glenwood Springs Transportation Commission. Council will also have a 5 p.m. work session to discuss medical marijuana licensing.

Carbondale’s town board and the developer of the proposed Thompson Park project reached agreement on several key issues during a continued public hearing on the annexation and zoning plan Tuesday night.

Still, several issues remain to be hashed out, and the hearing was continued again until July 12.

Developer Frieda Wallison is now proposing up to 45 residential units on the 10-acre site situated along Highway 133 just north of River Valley Ranch. The proposal includes dedication of the 123-year-old Thompson house and about one acre of land for a historic museum and park.

Town trustees and Wallison agreed Tuesday to a plan for timing of park improvements, payment of $75,000 toward maintenance of the historic house, and traffic impact fees to be capped at $215,000.

Still to be discussed at the July meeting are issues related to utilities, water rights, a development phasing plan and a vesting period for development rights to continue.

The Mount Sopris Historical Society is also prepared to discuss plans for the organization to assumed management of the historic house as a museum that would be open to the public.

An information box showing the top five peak streamflows for the Colorado River at Glenwood Springs that accompanied the frontpage article on river levels in the June 14 Post Independent included incorrect dates for the two highest peak runoff years. The record high flow of 31,500 cfs occurred on May 25, 1984, and the second-highest flow of 27,900 cfs occurred on June 25, 1983, according to the USGS streamflow database. The Post Independent regrets the error.

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