Jury selected in Carbondale murder case; opening arguments Monday
After four days of jury selection, attorneys seated a jury Friday afternoon for the trial of Arturo Navarrete-Portillo, who faces a first-degree murder trial in the machete killing of his wife in February 2015.
The morning of Feb. 16 emergency responders in Carbondale were dispatched to a car crash on Highway 133. Navarrete-Portillo later told authorities he had crashed his Toyota 4Runner into the back of a cattle truck in an attempted suicide.
He was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction via medical flight, during which he told a flight crew member that he had killed his wife and didn’t want to go on living, according to police.
This set off a search back in Carbondale for their residence and Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya, the man’s 30-year-old wife. After some confusion, Carbondale police located their apartment on Cooper Place and the corpse of Portillo-Amaya.
Leading up to the trial has been a long battle over what evidence should be allowed to be presented to the jury. In the weeks prior to the trial, Judge James Boyd largely rejected defense motions to suppress evidence, including evidence found at the crime scene and statements the defendant made to investigators in the days following his wife’s death.
The trial was scheduled to run 10 days in total, but jury selection took four days. Opening statements will be made Monday.
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