Husband charged with murder set for August plea |

Husband charged with murder set for August plea

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Arturo Navarrete-Portillo will have until August to arrive at a plea or prepare to go to trial for the death of his wife, Maria Portillo-Amaya.

Navarrete-Portillo, 46, of Carbondale, faces a first-degree murder charge in the machete slaying of his wife on the morning of Feb. 16, before rear-ending a cattle truck and confessing to the crime en route to the hospital.

At a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Garfield County District Court in Glenwood Springs, he waived his right to contest probable cause or make a case to be released on bond.

The case will move forward to a three-hour arraignment on Aug. 3, when a trial date will be set unless Navarrete-Portillo reaches a plea agreement.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Barrett declined to comment on whether a deal might be in the works, but noted that “any number of things,” including new motions, could be discussed at the August hearing.