Court upholds conviction in Fruitvale slaying
The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected a new trial for a man convicted of killing another over a $600 drug debt in 2005.
Christopher J. Wieberg, 26, is serving life in prison without parole for his conviction in the Oct. 25, 2005, shooting death of 28-year-old Thomas Martinez, who was pistol whipped and shot in the head at a Fruitvale apartment.
Wieberg was convicted in May 2007 of felony murder, second-degree murder and three counts of aggravated robbery.
In rejecting an appeal, the Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel found “no reversible error” in five specific claims raised by Wieberg’s appellate attorneys, according to the decision issued Thursday.
Among the claims, Wieberg’s attorneys argued District Judge Brian Flynn improperly allowed the jury to see certain items of evidence, including a letter written by Wieberg to his father.
Wieberg’s letter referenced the possibility he and his father, Gregory, 52, could be serving time together in the same prison.
The elder Wieberg was sentenced to prison after his arrest for selling methamphetamine out of his home, which was under police surveillance in late October 2005.
Chris Wieberg was still wanted at the time in connection with Martinez’s killing.
Prosecutors used the handwritten letter as evidence that Wieberg had authored another letter, intercepted by jail staff, in which Wieberg instructed a witness to change her testimony to benefit his case.