A first-degree murder trial will begin in late August for a Mesa County man accused in the shooting death of a 17-year-old girl last July.
Mesa County District Judge Gretchen Larsen said she preferred to conduct the trial within Colorado's speedy-trial requirements, even though the defendant, 21-year-old Israel Massingill, waived the requirement.
Massingill on Monday pleaded not guilty and his Grand Junction attorney, Steve Laiche, sought a trial date beyond the speedy-trial requirement, noting that it could be difficult to arrange for testimony by his witnesses, most of them from the Front Range, before September.
About a dozen friends and relatives of the victim, Kiera Quintana, wore purple "Justice for Kiki" T-shirts to Monday's court hearing.
District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said he preferred to move forward within the state's requirement that Massingill be tried within 180 days of his plea on Monday.
Larsen set a trial date of Aug. 27 but noted that Laiche could seek a later date if he is unable to arrange for the testimony he is seeking. The trial will largely be a "forensic case," Laiche said.
A second 17-year-old girl told police Quintana had been giving her and Massingill a ride to an ATM on Orchard Mesa early on the morning of July 15 when Massingill pulled out a gun and shot Quintana in the head, according to an arrest affidavit. He also allegedly shot the other 17-year-old girl, but she survived. The affidavit lacks detail about what, if anything, prompted the attack.
In addition to the first- and second-degree murder charges involving Quintana's death, Massingill is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, sexual assault, patronizing a prostituted child, felony menacing, third-degree assault and domestic violence in connection with the shooting of the second 17-year-old girl who survived the shooting.
This story has been updated from a previous version.