Man pleads not guilty in wife’s March stabbing death

A man accused of stabbing his wife to death in front of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Octavio Vargas-Herrera, 24, of Grand Junction, is charged with first-degree murder, among other counts, in the March 14 death of 23-year-old Jenna Ann Vargas.

Edward Streker, a public defender representing Vargas-Herrera, signaled Thursday the case may yet be resolved before trial, saying a plea agreement offer from the District Attorney’s Office remains valid.

A trial for Vargas-Herrera was set for 10 days starting Dec. 13 before District Judge Valerie Robison.

According to an arrest affidavit, Vargas admitted to repeatedly stabbing his wife with a knife in her neck, slitting her throat and covering her mouth to stop her from screaming. The affidavit describes the couple’s child as being feet away during the stabbing.

Earlier that day, Vargas-Herrera said, he read for the first time a blog authored by his wife, where she wrote she didn’t love him as far back as 2007, the affidavit said.


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