Stabbing case still awaiting trial date
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A judge hearing the attempted murder and assault case against Toby Gallegos, stemming from a September 2010 stabbing outside a downtown Glenwood Springs bar, said Thursday she intends to set the case for trial regardless of whether Gallegos has an attorney.
Also before the court Thursday were the felony theft and business fraud case against Shawnee Ryan of Glenwood Springs, and a felony assault case stemming from a brawl at a Strawberry Days weekend party in June. Those cases were also continued to later dates.
Gallegos, 28, of Glenwood Springs, was bound over for trial following a June 26 preliminary hearing before Garfield District Judge Denise Lynch.
He is charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault causing serious bodily injury, in connection with a late-night fight on Sept. 26, 2010, outside the Loyal Brothers Lounge.
Since the June hearing, Gallegos, who remains free on $15,000 bond, has been attempting to hire a private attorney to represent him in the case.
Public defender Jim Conway was previously representing Gallegos. However, Gallegos has since been deemed ineligible for a public defender because he draws too much income from his job in the natural gas industry, according to testimony at the June hearing.
Now, “he’s stuck in the middle,” said Glenwood Springs attorney Tom Silverman at a Thursday review hearing before Judge Lynch. Silverman represents Gallegos in a previous criminal case, but said he has not been retained to represent him in the stabbing case.
It’s possible that his income and employment situation may change enough by the time a Nov. 3 continued hearing rolls around that he could again qualify for a public defender, Silverman said.
Deputy 9th District Attorney Andrea Bryan said it’s time to move the case forward.
“This case is more than a year old now, and we have a situation where the victims are feeling re-victimized as this drags on,” she said at the Thursday hearing.
Judge Lynch agreed, and said she plans to set a trial date at the Nov. 3 hearing, whether Gallegos has legal representation at that time or not.
The alleged victim in the case, Doug Diaz, 29, testified at the June preliminary hearing that he was rushed to the hospital with what doctors said was a potentially life-threatening injury to his upper left arm resulting from the stab wound. Diaz said he can no longer use the arm as a result of nerve damage.
Diaz testified at the hearing that he turned in a defensive stance with his left arm ready to throw a punch when Gallegos rushed him. Witnesses said the fight erupted after Diaz allegedly punched and knocked out a friend of Gallegos outside the bar, and that it was Diaz who was the aggressor.
The felony theft and business fraud case against former Glenwood Springs interior designer Shawnee Ryan was also continued Thursday by Judge Lynch until Nov. 3.
A competency evaluation involving the defendant is expected to be ready at that time, public defender Jim Conway said. A motion to re-open a request for a special prosecutor in the case is also expected to be heard at that time.
Following a motions hearing last spring, Lynch denied a motion for the special prosecutor in the case, after hearing arguments that one of the alleged victims in the case works in the DA’s office, creating a potential conflict of interest.
Ryan faces multiple counts of felony theft for allegedly defrauding at least a dozen different clients out of thousands of dollars by engaging in deceptive business practices and failing to deliver services and materials.
She was arrested in May 2010 following a year-long investigation by the district attorney and local law enforcement agencies. Ryan remains free on a $38,000 bond.
Meanwhile, the first-degree assault case against a Glenwood Springs man who was allegedly the instigator in a brawl outside a Strawberry Days weekend party has been continued until Dec. 1.
Victor Manual Duarte Fabela, 21, faces first-degree assault charges stemming from the June 18 incident in which he allegedly hit several people with a baseball bat at a house party in south Glenwood Springs.
Two victims reportedly received serious injuries during the fight, and up to 20 others were also assaulted, according to records in the case.
Conway said the public defender’s office is still conducting its own internal investigation in the case. Duarte remains in the Garfield County Jail on $100,000 bond.
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