Man pleads not guilty in Glenwood murder
A Carbondale-area man accused of killing his stepdaughter’s boyfriend and wounding her pleaded not guilty this morning and is headed for a three-week trial.
Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Denise Lynch set a Sept. 22 trial date for Fredy Cabrera, 40, after he entered his plea.
“Is that what you want to do, Mr. Cabrera, is plead not guilty and go to trial?” Lynch asked him.
“Yes,” he answered, also nodding his head.
Cabrera, who owns the El Horizonte restaurant in Carbondale, faces charges including first-degree murder after deliberation in connection with an incident last July 31 at the Riverside Cottages just south of Glenwood Springs. He’s accused of shooting and killing Douglas Menjivar, 21, and shooting Leydy Trejo, now a Basalt High School senior, in the leg.
He remains on a no-bond hold in Garfield County Jail. He would face a mandatory sentence of life without parole if convicted on the murder charge. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia has said she won’t seek the death penalty in the case.
Prosecutors say Cabrera shot the two because he was upset over them being in a relationship. Lynch recently ruled following a preliminary hearing that there was sufficient evidence to bind him over for trial.
During that hearing, defense attorney Kathy Goudy indicated there may be trial testimony that the gun went off by accident as Cabrera and Menjivar struggled with each other.
Cabrera’s attorneys have asked, and prosecutors have agreed, to have the gun in the case subject to further fingerprint and DNA testing. Goudy said the request is a result of the “ambiguous” results from initial testing.
“It’s kind of a crucial piece of evidence,” Goudy said Thursday following Cabrera’s court appearance.
A trial in the case could mean another challenging time on the witness stand for Trejo as her stepfather is prosecuted for her boyfriend’s death. During the preliminary hearing she testified that she didn’t see who shot her and her boyfriend because it was dark, but when pressed by a prosecutor she identified Cabrera as the shooter. She also said she initially hated him for his actions, but still loves him.