Slaying suspect believed victim ‘hitting’ on girlfriend

Amy Adamson

A 19-year-old Orchard Mesa woman believed a man had been flirting with her girlfriend before a confrontation that ended with the man stabbed nearly clear through his chest, according to a Grand Junction Police detective.

Detective Steve Cowgill testified on Monday that murder suspect Amy Adamson acknowledged “having a history” dating back to middle school and high school with 20-year-old Ramon Sandoval, who was found Jan. 16 stabbed to death near an apartment where Adamson, and her girlfriend, lived at the time, at Monument Ridge Townhomes, 2680 B 1/2 Road.

Cowgill, one of two Grand Junction detectives who testified during a preliminary hearing on Monday in Adamson’s case, didn’t specify the nature of the alleged prior history between Adamson and Sandoval.

District Judge Brian Flynn found probable cause for Adamson to be tried on counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, in addition to crime-of-violence and habitual criminal sentence-enhancers. Flynn scheduled a two-week trial starting Nov. 1 after Adamson pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Cowgill on Monday testified that Adamson’s girlfriend had invited Sandoval to come over Jan. 15. Sandoval, Adamson and her girlfriend were initially cordial, at one point listening to music together, the detective said.

“At some point Amy wanted him to leave,” Cowgill said.

Adamson went to a neighboring apartment, where she tried to get another woman to help her convince Sandoval to leave, the detective said. A confrontation escalated when Adamson returned and found Sandoval “flirting” with her girlfriend on their front porch.

“She thought he was trying to get with her all night long,” Cowgill testified, adding one witness overheard Adamson yelling to her girlfriend words to the effect of “get your ass back in the house.”

Adamson admitted retrieving a knife from the butcher block in her kitchen and stabbing Sandoval, according to an arrest affidavit and Cowgill’s testimony. Sandoval suffered a 4 1/4-inch wound to the chest, while the knife punctured the aorta near Sandoval’s spinal column, the detective testified.

“It was deeper (stab wounds) than most I’ve seen,” Cowgill said, noting the blade had to first pierce a jacket and two layers of shirts Sandoval was wearing that night.

Detective Cody Kennedy testified that Adamson later penned a letter Feb. 2 from jail to her girlfriend, explaining she still loved her but “needed her to change her story” about the stabbing to implicate another woman. Adamson’s girlfriend instead turned the letter over to law enforcement.

A knife, suspected as the weapon, is undergoing testing by Colorado Bureau of Investigation lab agents. It was found in a field near the Orchard Mesa apartment complex, Cowgill testified. The knife was found in a section of the field approximately “90 degrees” from where Adamson said it would be, the detective said.


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