Suspect in fatal stabbing pleads not guilty
A man accused of stabbing a 20-year-old to death in a Grand Junction trailer park last year has pleaded not guilty and will take his case before a jury.
Terrence “TJ” Richardson, 21, has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault in connection with the Dec. 5 slaying of Caleb Fettig, who was found dead in the street at the A&W Mobile Home Park.
Richardson, who investigators believe was involved with the local branch of the Satan’s Disciples gang, entered his not guilty pleas Thursday afternoon.
Richardson is scheduled for a four-week jury trial starting June 1 and presided over by Mesa County District Judge Gretchen Larson, according to the Mesa County Court Clerk’s office.
Defense Attorney Dan Shaffer wrote in an email that Richardson “looks forward to trial by jury” in the case.
Fettig was a Montana native who had lived in Grand Junction for several years, and despite having family in the area spent time living on the streets, according to family members. His stepmother, Amy Fettig, wrote in an email Friday that his family was disappointed at the news that Richardson didn’t plan to accept a plea deal.
“Caleb’s entire family is bitterly disappointed that given the chance to do one thing right in all of this, TJ has chosen to draw it out and further compound our heartache and pain,” she wrote. “We are confident in the investigation and in the Mesa County District Attorney’s office that we will see a first-degree murder conviction. We are grateful for their diligent work in this case.”
Richardson is due back in court for a motions hearing on Jan. 22.