DA undecided on murder conspiracy charge
Prosecutors say they need more time to determine whether a 20-year-old man should face charges including conspiracy to commit murder in connection with a July 31 shooting near Glenwood Springs.
Magistrate Holly Strablizky today gave the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office another week to file formal charges against Josue Israel Joya, who was arrested after allegedly having driven a gunman to the shooting scene.
Joya remains in Garfield County Jail. Bond has been set at $250,000.
He was arrested Aug. 3, two days after Carbondale-area resident Fredy Cabrera, 39, turned himself in at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. Cabrera, who owns restaurants in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, is accused of shooting Douglas Menjivar and Leydy Trejo at the Riverside Cottages. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, but like Joya isn’t scheduled to be formally charged until Aug. 21.
Menjivar, 21, was killed in the shooting. Trejo, Cabrera’s stepdaughter, was injured in a leg. Cabrera is suspected of having shot Menjivar because he was upset Menjivar was dating Trejo.
District Attorney Sherry Caloia said she still doesn’t know how Cabrera ended up in Mesa County before his arrest. Arrest and search warrant affidavits also leave it unclear how he may have left the shooting scene.
According to a Garfield County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit for Joya, Joya eventually admitted during questioning that he had picked up Cabrera at a ranch, with Cabrera grabbing a pistol from his own vehicle before joining Joya. Joya reportedly told authorities they made stops in the Carbondale and Basalt areas as Cabrera drank beers, before Joya agreed at Cabrera’s insistence to take him to Glenwood Springs to talk to Trejo.
According to the affidavit, Joya said Cabrera got out of the vehicle with his pistol in his waistband, and Joya then immediately left the area after he heard gunshots.
According to Garfield jail booking information, Joya is suspected not just of conspiracy to commit murder, but murder itself.
“We’d like to have additional time to be able to look at all the reports and make the appropriate decisions in regard to charging,” Caloia told reporters todayu after Joya’s court appearance.
She said that could include different, and fewer, charges than he was originally arrested on, but she doesn’t think his case would be dismissed.
Joya is expected to be represented for free by a court-appointed attorney because the Public Defender’s Office represents Cabrera and wants to avoid a conflict of interest.