Second man charged in Glenwood Springs murder case
Post Independent staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A second man has been charged in a murder case in which a young Salvadoran man allegedly was killed by the stepfather of an 18-year-old girl the young man was living with.
The two men were in court on Monday to face charges over the killing of Douglas Menjivar at an apartment complex south of Glenwood Springs on July 31,
The alleged shooter, 39-year-old Fredy Argueta Cabrera of Carbondale, faces first degree murder charges and possibly the death penalty over allegations that he shot and killed Menjivar, 21, and wounded 18-year-old Leydy Trejo, in the apartment complex south of Glenwood Springs where Menjivar and Trejo were living together.
Firing a pistol as he approached the couple, according to police, Cabrera allegedly left Menjivar to die of multiple gunshot wounds before fleeing the scene. He also left Trejo, his step-daughter, with a serious wound to her leg that would require surgery in a Denver hospital.
The second man, Josue Israel Joya, 20, of Basalt, allegedly drove Cabrera to the apartment complex south of Glenwood Springs on the night of July 31, waited until he heard several gunshots and then drove away, leaving Cabrera at the scene.
Joya, who was approached by police on Aug. 4, at the home he shared with his father in Basalt, admitted after lengthy questioning that he knew Cabrera and had been with him for much of the day of July 31. The two had driven around Carbondale in Joya’s Jeep sport utility vehicle, with Cabrera drinking beer the whole time, before heading to the apartment complex south of Glenwood Springs, Joya allegedly told police.
According to an affidavit supporting a warrant for Joya’s arrest, Joya told police he had not seen Cabrera again after he heard the gun shots and drove off.
He also said he had no idea Cabrera was going to kill Menjivar when Cabrera asked him for a ride to the apartment complex on July 31, and that Cabrera had told Joya that he, Cabrera, was angry at Menjivar and Trejo for living together.
Joya is facing up to 48 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million if he is convicted of the charges against him, according to Magistrate Holly Strablizky.
Joya is scheduled for his next appearance in court on Aug. 14, and is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Cabrera, following a ruling by Strablizky, is being held without bond, because of the first-degree murder charge, according to a statement made by Strablizky.
Cabrera’s attorney, public defender Tina Fang, noted in court on Monday that she intends to bring up the subject of bond at Cabrera’s next court hearing, also in mid-August.
Public or private attorney
Fang made that statement during arguments with Deputy District Attorney Scott Turner about whether Cabrera should be represented by Fang’s office.
Turner maintained that Cabrera, who owns two restaurants (one in Carbondale and one in Glenwood Springs), as well as a copy business and two homes, may well not be “indigent” under Colorado law, and requested that the judge order a more thorough investigation into Cabrera’s assets.
But Fang argued that simply owning that much property is not evidence that Cabrera has sufficient cash on hand to hire a private attorney to defend him.
District Judge Denise Lynch, who expressed her own doubts as to whether Cabrera can legitimately be considered indigent, ordered Fang to submit a second application by Cabrera, filled out with information that apparently was missing from Cabrera’s initial application for representation by the public defender.
That initial application was granted by the judge on July 31, possibly before Cabrera turned himself in to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office in Grand Junction, and contained insufficient information for the judge to make a decision about whether Cabrera is indigent or not, the judge told Fang.
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