Preliminary hearing again delayed in Basalt kidnapping case
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – A preliminary hearing for a Basalt man accused of kidnapping his former girlfriend was postponed Monday, largely because of a miscue that prevented the only witness from attending.
That marked the second delay in as many weeks in the case against Luis Reyes-Euseda, 31, of Basalt. He is accused of kidnapping and a related misdemeanor.
The kidnapping count, a felony, is punishable by up to six years in prison.
Judge James Boyd of Pitkin County District Court reset the hearing for June 24. He also directed Aspen prosecutors to make contact with the victim so that she appears for the next hearing.
The witness, who is the former girlfriend of Reyes-Euseda, earlier defied a court order when she failed to appear for a June 3 preliminary hearing.
She turned herself in five days later and was booked at the Pitkin County jail. The woman was released on $1,000 bond and given a July 6 court date. Apparently jail officials were not aware of Monday’s preliminary hearing, which the woman was suppose to attend.
Reyes-Euseda was arrested April 28. The arrest was the result of an alleged incident on March 7 at his ex-girlfriend’s home in the Roaring Fork Mobile Home Park in Basalt.
Reyes-Euseda had been staying, on and off, at his former girlfriend’s residence. On the afternoon of March 7 the victim said Reyes-Euseda had been drinking, a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office report states.
The victim said she had been napping with her children in their bedroom when Reyes-Euseda came into the room and “tried to drag her into her bedroom,” the report states.
She repeatedly told him to leave, but he allegedly dragged the victim into “her bedroom against her will” and locked the door behind him. After a scuffle Reyes-Euseda took her keys and left, authorities say.
He returned the following morning and apparently dropped off the keys.
Reyes is being held at the Park County jail. He is subject to a hold by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In other court-related matters, Boyd lowered bond to $15,000 for Christopher Melendez, II, 30, of Aspen. The judge ordered the lower bond amount after his defense attorney suggested the alleged crimes did not rise to the level charged by prosecutors. His bond was previously set at $45,000.
Melendez is accused of attempted second-degree murder; first-degree assault and first-degree burglary. Each counts carries a potential prison term of 10 to 32 years.
Melendez is also accused of violating a restraining order. The count stems from another case in which he is accused of assault.
Aspen police arrested Melendez on May 22 a few hours after he allegedly attempted to choke a woman at her apartment following a wrap party for a film shot in Aspen.
He is to next appear in court for a preliminary hearing July 7.
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