Manslaughter plea made in escort’s killing
A Fruita resident and twice deployed U.S. Army combat veteran is to serve no more than 12 years in prison for killing a male escort in 2011.
Billy Joe Delacey, 35, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter in the slaying of 26-year-old Luis Alberto Vasquez Oliva, or “Beto,” an undocumented Mexican national who was beaten to death inside his apartment at 540 29 Road, unit 6, in Fruitvale. Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger moved to dismiss counts in an indictment handed down by a Mesa County grand jury, including first- and second-degree murder, possession of sexually exploitative material and misdemeanor theft.
Under a plea agreement, Delacey could be sentenced to a maximum 12 years in prison, should the judge conclude there were aggravating factors in Oliva’s killing.
He’s scheduled to be sentenced in February.
The Mesa County grand jury indictment alleged Delacey met Oliva via Craiglist, where Oliva had advertised male-on-male massage services.
Oliva’s body was found inside his apartment the morning of Aug. 1, 2011, on a deflated air mattress with a large amount of blood pooled around his head. He suffered blunt-force trauma, with a single blow to the back of the head and multiple injuries to his face and head.
Investigators said emails established Delacey was the last person to see Oliva alive, as Oliva’s computer had evidence “Billy” had plans to meet Oliva around 10 a.m. on July 31. Delacey sent photos of himself to Oliva, which were seized as evidence.
The defense, however, argued computer and cellphone records were inconsistent with the prosecution’s theory of the case.
Read the full story in Tuesday’s Daily Sentinel.