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Glenwood Springs murder suspect loses public defender, gets private counsel

John Colson
jcolson@postindependent.com

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Fredy Cabrera, accused of shooting another man to death in an incident last summer south of Glenwood Springs, on Thursday lost the services of the Colorado Public Defender’s Office, and must hire a private attorney.

Defense attorney Tina Fang, chief trial lawyer of the Glenwood Springs office of the public defender, told District Judge Denise Lynch that the defendant’s brother, identified by a friend of the family as Noel Cabrera, will be hiring an attorney to defend Fredy Cabrera against first-degree murder charges, which could land Fredy Cabrera in prison for life or on death row, if he is convicted.

Fang said she is in talks with some attorneys in the area about taking over the case, and expressed the hope that Cabrera will have a new attorney before Dec. 19, which is the only day between now and Christmas on Judge Lynch’s schedule for cases at this stage.

Just in case, and at Fang’s suggestion, the judge scheduled Cabrera’s next hearing for Jan. 13.

Fang indicated that, if a new attorney is found in time for the Dec. 19 date, she will inform the court.

Cabrera allegedly shot Douglas Menjivar several times the night of July 31 outside Menjivar’s apartment south of Glenwood Springs, where Menjivar had been living with Cabrera’s 18-year-old stepdaughter, Leydy Trejo.

Trejo took a bullet in the leg during the shooting, and had to undergo emergency surgery in Denver. Cabrera, who is also charged with felony assault related to his stepdaughter’s shooting, reportedly was upset that Menjivar and Trejo were dating.

Cabrera, owner of the El Horizonte restaurants in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, as well as another business in Glenwood Springs and two homes in the midvalley, was deemed eligible for representation by the public defender’s office after Fang argued that even if he used all his assets to pay an attorney he could not possibly pay off the bills generated by the case.

According to private attorney Greg Greer, who formerly worked as a public defender, the legal costs a defendant could expect in such a case would be “approximately $450,000.”

No reason was given at Thursday’s hearing for the switch in representation, and Fang refused to discuss the matter with reporters, despite repeated requests after the hearing.

In addition, following a lengthy talk with Fang, Vilma Trejo, mother of Leydy Trejo and wife of Fredy Cabrera, also refused to talk with reporters about the change in lawyers.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Turner, when questioned about the matter, said his office had not filed any motions seeking the removal of the public defender’s office from the case.


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