DA not ready to file on second Glenwood Springs murder suspect | PostIndependent.com

DA not ready to file on second Glenwood Springs murder suspect

John Colson
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — District Attorney Sherry Caloia acknowledged on Monday that her office is still pondering its case against Josue Joya, who is suspected of involvement in a July 31 shooting death at an apartment complex south of Glenwood Springs.

Joya, 20, currently is charged in police records with conspiracy to commit murder, and with murder, over the shooting death of Douglas Menjivar. Joya is being held in the Garfield County Jail on a bond of $250,000.

But the district’s top prosecutor indicated on Wednesday that she is not sure about the future of the case.

According to police, Joya was with the primary murder suspect in the case, Fredy Argueta Cabrera, 39, for much of the day on July 31, and drove Cabrera to the scene of the shooting.

Cabrera, 39, is charged with first degree murder in the death of Menjivar, and is also suspected of having shot his own stepdaughter, Leydy Trejo, 18, who had recently started living with Menjivar.

While local law enforcement agencies conducted a manhunt for Cabrera on Aug. 1 in the Roaring Fork Valley, he turned up in Mesa County on the day after the shootings and turned himself into authorities there. He was brought back to Garfield County, where he is being held without bond, and is due in court again on Sept. 21,

In court on Wednesday, deputy DA Jim Leuthauser told Magistrate Holly Strablizky that he was not prepared to file formal charges against Joya, because there are questions about whether the charges initially lodged by police are “warranted.”

Strablizky asked Leuthauser whether the DA’s office will really be ready to file the charges on Aug. 21, the date Leuthauser requested for Joya’s next court appearance.

“I’m just concerned about … this gentleman has been in custody for quite some time,” Strablizky explained.

“We’ll be ready, your honor,” Leuthauser replied.

Caloia, speaking with reporters after Joya’s hearing, said what is known as “discovery” in the case — the evidence and other material that prosecutors expect to use against the defendant — is “extensive” in Joya’s case.

“We’d like to have additional time to look at all the appropriate police reports” before filing formal charges, she explained.

Pressed for further explanation, Caloia conceded that there is some doubt in her mind whether the charges listed by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office are “warranted.”

Although she would not go so far as to say the charges against Joya will be reduced in severity, Caloia said that if review of police documents suggests the charges are not appropriate they might be changed.

“They would be different charges, and there might be fewer,” she said.

When asked if the charges might be dismissed, she replied, “I don’t think so.”

Joya is due in court again on Aug. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Neither of the two men accused in the shootings, at this point, have had formal charges filed against them.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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