Lower bond rejected for accused murder accomplice
Prosecutors filed official charges Wednesday in the murder case of Gustavo Olivo-Tellez, who’s accused in the shooting death of his ex, and the young woman charged as his accomplice failed to get her $100,000 bond reduced.
Olivo-Tellez, a 27-year-old from Glenwood Springs, is accused of killing his ex in her home at Pinon Pines Apartments, south of Glenwood. His girlfriend, Michelle Castillo, also from Glenwood, is accused as an accomplice in the homicide.
Prosecutors say Olivo-Tellez planned this crime for several days before carrying it out.
Authorities discovered the victim, Blanca Salas-Jurado, on Oct. 7, and Olivo-Tellez and Castillo were arrested in a Grand Junction hotel the next morning.
On Oct. 11, four days after discovering the victim, investigators found what they believe to be the firearm and ammunition in Veltus Park in Glenwood. Investigators also found a cell phone related to this case.
Garfield County saw three homicides last year, and this was the first of 2016.
Olivo-Tellez told his brother and sister-in-law in Grand Junction that he’d shot Blanca Salas-Jurado, his ex and the mother of his son, in the stomach and face.
Investigators believe that the 3-year-old son was at the apartment at the time of the homicide.
Prosecutors on Wednesday formally filed charges of first-degree murder, misdemeanor child abuse and misdemeanor third-degree assault against Olivo-Tellez.
By statute, the only possible punishments for a first-degree murder conviction are the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole. Prosecutors are charging this as a murder after deliberation.
Castillo was charged with accessory to murder and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Barrett has said that the day before the homicide, Castillo purchased the ammunition believed to be used in the crime.
When they were last in court, Olivo-Tellez’s bond was set at $2 million, cash only. Castillo’s bond was set at $100,000, also cash only.
Attorney Kathy Goudy, representing Castillo, argued to have her client’s bond reduced to $5,000, partly citing support from her family and the community.
Castillo also cooperated with police after being arrested, and that cooperation helped build their case against Olivo-Tellez, said Goudy.
But Judge Denise Lynch rejected that request, favoring Deputy District Attorney Jim Leuthauser’s caution about her being flight risk. Though the accused couple lives in Glenwood Springs, authorities found Castillo with Olivo-Tellez in a Grand Junction hotel, and Castillo had withdrawn a “substantial amount of cash” from an ATM. These are strong indications that they were fleeing, said the deputy district attorney.
Olivo-Tellez will next be in court Nov. 17, and Castillo’s next court date is Nov. 10.
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Blood scraped off the steering wheel and driver’s seat match Cody Christopher, but the defense attorney doesn’t find that conclusive.