Vehicular homicide suspect appears with public defender

Chad Abraham

A public defender will represent a Marble woman accused of causing a fatal accident last week while allegedly driving drunk.

Rebecca Wood, 23, appeared in court Monday wearing orange, jail-issue clothing. Her mother sat behind her as defense attorney Greg Greer waived advisement of the charges.

Wood is charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, driving without insurance and another traffic infraction. Rifle resident Jose Munoz Torres, 40, was killed in the accident Thursday night.

Torres was driving home from his job in Redstone when his car was struck by Wood’s SUV, which had just crossed the center line of Highway 133 and hit a concrete barrier, police say. Wood, who wasn’t seriously injured, was allegedly drinking and smoking marijuana before the crash.

Wood’s next court date is July 3. Vehicular homicide carries a sentence of four to 12 years. She is being held on a $11,325 bond.

In other court news, Jose de Jesus Velasco-Estrada, arrested in the Dec. 2 drug stings in downtown Aspen, pleaded not guilty to money laundering, cocaine distribution and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

His attorney, Lauren Maytin, said she will seek a suppression hearing in which at least one charge could be thrown out.

Maytin and prosecutor Gail Nichols agreed that three days will be needed for the trial. Judge James Boyd scheduled the trial for Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

Velasco-Estrada is the second drug bust defendant to plead not guilty. Fernando Leal-Ruiz is to go on trial in September on charges of cocaine distribution, possession and conspiracy to distribute.

The men’s cases are the final two after the arrests of 10 men Dec. 2. Officers from multiple federal and local agencies swept into two restaurants and a home after a months-long undercover operation. The raids, conducted during apres-ski, prompted criticism in Aspen, where undercover work is rare.

Several suspects pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and were sentenced to probation.

Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is