DA fights lower bond in slaying case
The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office on Monday formally objected to a defense bid to lower bond for a man charged in the beating death of a male escort, saying such a move would be out of step with at least 23 other cases with similar charges over recent years in Mesa County.
Bill Delacey, 35, who is charged with first- and second-degree murder among other counts in the August 2011 death of 26-year-old Luis “Beto” Oliva in Fruitvale, also has no ties to Mesa County aside from an ex-wife who still lives in the Grand Valley and fears retaliation over a child-custody case, the prosecution wrote.
“The nature of this case, the defendant’s conduct while investigation of this case was pending, and his lack of ties to the community all indicate that the bond is appropriate as currently set,” reads a motion filed by Deputy District Attorney Leslie Stewart.
Public Defender Matt Mulch last month argued in a motion that evidence in the case justifies District Judge Richard Gurley slashing Delacey’s bond from $1 million secured to $200,000 personal recognizance. Delacey, who’s being held at the Mesa County Jail, would wear a global-positioning device if released and has secured potential housing in Grand Junction ahead of trial starting Jan. 13, 2014.
The prosecution questioned how Delacey might pay for the housing, or the approximately $420 per month needed to pay for GPS monitoring on pretrial services.
“The community is not adequately protected from a defendant who would commit such a violent crime against a virtual stranger through the use of merely a GPS, nor is the court adequately assured this defendant would remain in the jurisdiction simply because of his GPS rather than cutting it off and fleeing,” the DA’s response read.
The prosecution filing made no mention of evidence highlighted by the public defender’s office, which it says points to Delacey’s innocence. Mulch’s motion pointed to records purporting to show Delacey was home in Fruita, using his computer from 12:09 p.m. to 1:46 p.m. on July 31, 2011, while Oliva was talking to a third party on his cellphone as late as the noon hour that day.
Prosecutors have theorized Delacey, who was responding to Oliva’s advertisement for male-on-male massage, was inside Oliva’s apartment in Fruitvale from about 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Delacey rejected a plea offer which called for a maximum possible 10 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea to manslaughter, among other possible penalties. The DA’s office would have pushed for the maximum term at sentencing, the motion said.
“The People represent that the offer in this case in no way reflects that the People believe that the wrong suspect is to stand trial for this heinous murder,” prosecutors wrote.