All charges dropped against second man in murder
Prosecutors have dropped all charges against a man who’d been accused of being an accomplice in a July 31 murder near Glenwood Springs.
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia said charges against Josue Joya, 20, were dismissed after prosecutors received further evidence in the case, including cell phone records and tests on a bloody towel in the vehicle he was driving.
“We got the results of testing and some other evidence and concluded that we didn’t have a case against him,” Caloia said.
.Joya faced charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and being an accessory to a crime in connection with the shooting death of Douglas Menjivar. Conviction on the conspiracy charge alone could have resulted in up to 24 years in prison, or 48 years in the case of exceptional circumstances.
His attorney, Garth McCarty, learned of the dismissal of charges this morning when contacted by a reporter.
. “That would be the right decision,” he said, declining further comment until he could confirm the dismissal with prosecutors.
Carbondale-area resident Fredy Cabrera, 39, faces charges including first-degree murder after deliberation in the incident. Cabrera, owner of the El Horizonte restaurants in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, also is accused of having shot and wounded his stepdaughter, Leydy Trejo.
According to an arrest affidavit, Joya admitted to driving Cabrera to the scene of the shooting but denied any knowledge that Cabrera planned to shoot the two and immediately left the area when he heard gunshots.
Caloia said blood found on the towel turned out to be Joya’s, and not that of the victims or Cabrera, who reportedly was wounded during the shooting. Also, Joya’s cell phone records show he didn’t leave the Roaring Fork Valley after the shooting, she said.
That means “he didn’t drive Cabrera to Grand Junction” after the shooting, she said. Cabrera somehow ended up there a day later and turned himself in at the Mesa County Jail.
Joya was being held at the Garfield County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing to determine if he should have been bound over for trial had been scheduled for Tuesday.
Caloia said prosecutors lacked evidence to show Joya knew of Cabrera’s alleged plans.
“We just can’t prove it and so we’re doing what we think is the right thing at this time,” she said.
Asked about any bearing the dismissal of Joya’s case might have on the Cabrera prosecution, Caloia called that matter “very separate.”
“We just want to make sure we’re looking at stuff constantly and determine what’s there that we can prove and what we think the right thing to do is, and ultimately we’ve got to go with the evidence we’ve got, and this (dismissal) was the result in this case.”