Last year's slaying of Douglas Menjivar in Glenwood Springs was followed by lurid reports. Among the claims: Fredy Cabrera, a prominent local businessman, had shot Menjivar for going out with his eighteen-year-old stepdaughter, Leydy Trejo, because he wanted to have more than a fatherly relationship with her. Such rumors appear to have been unfounded. But the drama remained high at a hearing yesterday, during which Trejo, who was wounded in the shooting, initially tried to avoid naming Cabrera as the gunman, only to reluctantly admit he'd pulled the trigger.
As noted by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Cabrera, forty, owns two restaurants, both called El Horizonte -- one in Carbondale, the other in Glenwood Springs.
Cabrera also holds the deed to Compu Copy, a store next to the Carbondale restaurant that was reportedly overseen by Menjivar, a 21 year old originally from El Salvador.
Then, on July 31, violence flared. At around 11 p.m. on that day, according to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, gunshots prompted 911 calls, with deputies soon dispatched to the Riverside Cottages, where Trejo lived. The entrance to the complex is captured in the following interactive graphic; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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GCSO reps soon discovered that two people, Menjivar and Trejo, had been shot. Both were transported to an area hospital, but Menjivar soon expired from his wounds. Trejo, for her part, was hurt seriously enough by a bullet to the leg that she had to be treated in Denver, although she's since recovered.
The suspect was immediately identified as Cabrera, and while he fled the scene, he subsequently turned himself in to authorities. He was jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, prohibited use of weapons and reckless endangerment.
What happened? CBS4 floated the theory of a "love triangle," reporting, "Some of those close to Cabrera said that he wanted a relationship with his step-daughter and wanted to get rid of her boyfriend."
Similar claims are absent from Post Independent coverage, but plenty of other grabby material is. Amid comments of surprise that Cabrera might be capable of such an act was this observation from an El Horizonte worker: "It's like the devil possessed him."
In the weeks and months that followed, a judge in the case issued a protective order in the case following reports that Cabrera's wife had allegedly offered money to Menjivar's family. But it wasn't until yesterday's preliminary hearing that some of the most intriguing information emerged.
A fine report in the Aspen Daily News quotes a couple of witnesses who said Cabrera began threatening to kill Menjivar if he didn't end his relationship with Trejo a couple of weeks prior to the shooting.
News reporter Nelson Harvey also captures the conflicted loyalties that tore at Trejo as she took the stand.
When Deputy District Attorney Scott Turner first asked Trejo who shot her, she replied, "I couldn't see. It was too dark outside."
Later, during cross-examination, defense attorney Colleen Scissors asked about a moment when "Douglas and your dad fell off the embankment down to the lower parking lot," and Trejo didn't contradict her.
This exchange provided Turner with an opening. When he got his next chance to quiz Trejo, he's quoted as saying, "I need to be clear: Is there any doubt as we sit here today that your father was the one who shot you and killed your boyfriend?"
"I'm telling you that I couldn't see very well," Trejo answered.
"But you agreed that your father and Douglas had tumbled down the embankment?" Turner asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"So it was your father who shot you and killed your boyfriend. Is that correct?"
"Yes," Trejo said.
No surprise that the judge found there's enough evidence to put Cabrera on trial. In addition, Cabrera's request for bond was rejected. He's slated to be back in court April 3, at which point he's expected to enter a plea and the judge is likely to set a trial date.
Here's a look at Cabrera's mug shot, followed by the aforementioned CBS4 report from last August.
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More from our Mile High Murder archive circa September 2013: "Photos: Isabella Guzman stabbed mom 79 times, affidavit says."