Child was in room during 2015 Carbondale slaying
With the approaching first-degree murder trial of Arturo Navarrete-Portillo in the machete slaying last year of his wife, new details about the timeline of the case are coming into focus.
Prosecutors have said that the then-6-year-old son of Navarrete-Portillo from a previous relationship was in the same room when Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya was slain either late Feb. 15 or early Feb. 16, 2015.
The killing apparently happened at least three hours before Navarrete-Portillo, in what he later told authorities was a suicide attempt, smashed his SUV into the back of a cattle truck at about 7:15 a.m. on Highway 133 just a mile and a half from the apartment where the killing occurred. If they know, authorities have not discussed the whereabouts of Navarrete-Portillo during that gap.
Documents show that he dropped off his son at the home of his ex-wife at about 4 a.m. Feb. 16.
Mirium Delcid-Delcid, the ex-wife, told police Navarrete-Portillo was supposed to be watching their son on Feb. 15 and 16. She said when he dropped the boy off, he told her he’d made a “big mistake” and that he was going to turn himself into police, according to an arrest affidavit in the case. She said he smelled of alcohol.
It wasn’t clear at the time the affidavit was released that the killing apparently had already occurred, but if the boy was in the apartment as prosecutors say, the killing had to have happened before 4 a.m.
Prosecutors have said they plan to call the boy, now 7, to testify in Navarrete-Portillo’s trial. The boy’s school records have been subpoenaed and are now in the hands of the prosecution and the defense.
Delcid-Delcid, who was given a chance to protest, told Judge James Boyd on Tuesday that she did not object to the subpoena of her son’s school records. She said she wanted to keep the proceedings moving so they would eventually come to an end.
She added that the boy asked for the court to give his father back to him.
Before the boy can testify he’ll have to go through a child competency hearing, which is scheduled for March 23.
Numerous defense motions, many of which seek to suppress evidence from the trial, are also awaiting a ruling from Boyd. Among them are motions to disallow evidence found in the defendant’s SUV and the homicide scene, as well as statements Navarrete-Portillo made to medical staff and investigators.
After the crash and after treatment at Valley View Hospital, he was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. During the flight, he told a crew member that he had killed his wife, setting Carbondale police off on a search for their apartment, according to the affidavit.
Portillo-Amaya’s body was found around 4 p.m., so she may have been dead for more than 12 hours by then. Two other children whose relationship to the couple is unknown were in the apartment when the body was found by a roommate who came home during the police search.
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