Police: Third woman helped shooter
A third woman has been arrested on suspicion of helping cover for the man who fatally shot a 36-year-old Grand Junction man in mid-June.
Investigators sought an arrest warrant for 24-year-old Ashley Jaime last week after learning that she allegedly moved the shooter’s car after the shooting that left Travis Carothers fatally wounded on June 17.
John Stene, 27, has admitted to shooting Carothers outside a home in the 2900 block of North View Drive. Mesa County prosecutors later determined the shooting to be self-defense based on Stene’s account that Carothers was robbing him at gunpoint and other physical evidence.
While Stene remains in custody on gun- and drug-related charges, three women, including Jaime, have been arrested on allegations that they lied to investigators in an apparent attempt to cover for Stene.
Jaime, who was arrested shortly after midnight Monday, has been accused of trying to move Stene’s car for him after he fled in the aftermath of the shooting, and of telling several lies to investigators, a warrant for her arrest said.
Jaime lived with 26-year-old Alejandra Torres in the 2900 block of North View Drive. After the shooting, Stene fled the area, leaving his car behind.
“Ashley Jaime said she was supposed to take John Stene’s car to him so he could drive away,” the affidavit said. “Ashley Jaime stated she was pulling out in John Stene’s car when she saw the police arriving. She stated she re-parked the car and came inside.”
Jaime, who also allegedly lied about her identity and about seeing a man with a ponytail drive away from the shooting scene, caused confusion with her story, investigators wrote in the affidavit.
“Because Ashley Jaime moved John Stene’s vehicle in an attempt to get it to John Stene so he could flee, investigators were unable to evaluate the scene and determine the exact location of the individuals involved as it compares to bullet trajectory, casing locations and blood evidence,” the affidavit said. “Crime scene investigators spent numerous hours trying to explain the evidence left at the scene without knowing the vehicle had been moved.”
Jaime is facing charges of attempting to influence a public servant, tampering with physical evidence, criminal impersonation and two misdemeanor counts of false reporting to authorities. She’s also facing drug possession charges.
She appeared Monday afternoon before Mesa County Judge Craig Henderson for a bond hearing. Marissa Carothers, daughter of Travis Carothers, asked Henderson to hold Jaime in lieu of a high cash bond, and said that Jaime’s “stuff” is all gone from her house.
“I just want justice for my father,” Marissa Carothers said.
Public Defender Kimberly Paz asked for a personal-recognizance bond, noting Jaime’s “limited” criminal history.
“This is the type of case that’s meant for a PR bond,” Paz said.
Henderson ordered Jaime held on a combined total of $10,000 cash-only bonds, as well as a $1,500 cash or surety bond.
Torres, who is accused of lying about several aspects of the case, is facing charges of attempting to influence a public servant, a felony, and false reporting to authorities. She was released on a personal-recognizance bond Friday issued by Mesa County Judge Michael Grattan.
Jornai Snodgrass, a 25-year-old who allegedly helped Stene flee and was arrested at the same time he was, has been charged with criminal attempt to influence a public servant, obstructing government operations and false reporting.