Jury seated in El Jebel double murder trial
A jury was finally seated Thursday for the Williams Anderson Amaya double-murder trial in Eagle.
Amaya is accused of fatally shooting his aunt and uncle in their home in the El Jebel area July 12, 2014. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
The court clerk’s office said 219 prospective jurors answered the summons for duty and reported to the courthouse Monday. They filled out questionnaires that were reviewed by attorneys for the prosecutor and defense as well as Eagle County District Judge Paul Dunkelman. Some prospective jurors were winnowed out for various reasons. The jury was selected Wednesday and Thursday from the remaining pool.
The jury was given the day off Friday. Opening statements will be delivered Monday.
Amaya is charged with two counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of attempted murder in the first degree and tampering with physical evidence.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Amaya shot and killed Mayra and Eliseo Lopez in their Sopris Village home, where he was renting a room. Investigators said they found bullet holes in the bedding of the Lopez’s two sons, indicating Amaya intended to kill them, as well. They escaped by running out of the house.
The prosecution team contends Amaya knew what he was doing.
He will either spend life in prison or be committed to a mental institution until he can prove he has restored his sanity.
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A Mesa County man who attempted to assert the bogus “sovereign citizen” defense to cover for squatting in a Mountain Valley home in 2019 disavowed the doctrine Tuesday and was sentenced to prison.