Continuance in Glenwood Springs murder case
A suspect accused of murdering his estranged wife outside Glenwood Springs in 2016 is set to reappear in court in late July to discuss a mental health evaluation and an insanity plea he entered following the killing.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys asked 9th District Judge John Neiley Thursday to schedule another status conference for Gustavo Olivo-Tellez July 26, in order to revisit a mental health evaluation soon to be conducted by Colorado Department of Behavioral Health.
Olivo-Tellez first pleaded not guilty in June 2017 to killing his estranged wife, Blanca Salas-Jurado, who investigators say was shot three to five times in her Glenwood-area apartment. Prosecutors say their 3-year-old son was in the home during the October 2016 shooting.
Olivo-Tellez entered an insanity plea in April, and a trial date was halted pending the mental health evaluation.
Judge Neiley and Olivo-Tellez’s attorney, Garth McCarty, discussed a possible trial date in late November or early December.
McCarty said he’s moving out of the state but plans to continue handling the case, and switching lawyers would incur additional fees and halt the judicial process even further.
According to prosecutors, the murder was allegedly a joint effort between Olivo-Tellez and Michelle Castillo, his girlfriend at the time.
Prosecutors say, after the shooting, Olivo-Tellez ditched the gun and ammunition in the Roaring Fork River and fled with Castillo, who was later sentenced to 16 years in prison for an accessory to murder charge.
Court documents say she drove his 3-year-old son to Grand Junction and dropped him off with a relative, before connecting with Olivo-Tellez. They were both arrested at a hotel in Grand Junction the day after the murder, and police say they were allegedly planning to flee to California.
Prosecutor Don Nottingham asked for a special hearing after the defense team filed for the insanity plea just weeks before the scheduled mid-May trial.
Such a defense requires expert testimony in regards to Olivo-Tellez’s mental condition at the time of the offense. The court is still waiting on a full evaluation, which will be conducted at a state mental health hospital in Pueblo.
Olivo-Tellez remains in the Garfield County Jail on a $2 million bond.
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