G’wood murder suspect appears in court

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The suspect in a fatal shooting last month in west Glenwood Springs appeared in court Wednesday for the formal filing of charges.

Jesus Hernandez de Jesus, 33, was arrested in Clifton on June 26 on suspicion of first-degree murder and felony menacing. He appeared in a red jumpsuit and had court proceedings translated to him in Spanish by an interpreter using headset devices. Red jumpsuits are given to prisoners held in a maximum security part of the Garfield County jail.

Ninth Judicial District Judge Daniel Petre indicated that the first-degree murder charge alone carries a minimum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole to the maximum sentence of the death penalty.

Police believe Hernandez de Jesus shot and killed his 20-year-old nephew, Ricardo Navarrete-Prudencio, the night of June 25 at the Ponderosa Lodge. It’s alleged that Hernandez de Jesus was provoked by affair his nephew had with Hernandez de Jesus’ wife in Florida. Navarrete-Prudencio told his mother he feared for his life and planned to return to Mexico that week to avoid his uncle, according to an arrest affidavit.

There was mention of four motions filed by defense attorneys and one motion filed by prosecutors. But public access to Hernandez de Jesus’ case file has been cut off. Petre, who’s now handling the case, did not modify or remove orders by Judge Denise Lynch sealing the case file and limiting pretrial publicity.

“My understanding is that when the file is sealed, that order seals the file of all current paperwork and any future paperwork that may be headed for that file,” said James Bradford, clerk of the combined courts for Garfield County.

Public defender Garth McCarty, who appeared on behalf of Hernandez de Jesus, indicated the defense plans to file many more motions, including one requesting that Hernandez de Jesus be allowed to wear regular clothes for trial instead of prison garb.

A motions hearing was set for July 20.