Crime

Jacqueline Gallegos's son wants death penalty for killer of his mom

In recent days, members of Colorado's general assembly have been battling over legislation intended to outlaw the death penalty in Colorado. Yesterday, however, the proposal failed in the House Judiciary Committee.

This development distressed the Colorado ACLU; see the group's statement below. But it was good, or at least positive, news for Anthony Joseph Galvan, who believes the killer of his mother, Jacqueline Gallegos, who went unpunished for years, deserves to pay the ultimate price for his terrible act.

We first told you about the Gallegos case as part of a post about ten unsolved Denver murders published in May 2012.

Here's the previously shared personal story about the Gallegos case as seen on the website Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons:
Jacqueline Collette Gallegos, 28, graduated from Great Bend (KS) High school. Next to the oldest of seven children, she loved music, dancing and being with friends. Jackie liked to write poetry and was a fantastic artist drawing caricatures and animals. She was the devoted mother of five children: Anthony, Luis, Robert, Monique and Lorena. Jackie was outgoing and would "take in the underdog anytime," according to her mother, Linda Atz. On July 12, 1994, Jackie was visiting at a friend's home when, according to a witness, intruders posing as federal agents forced their way into the house. Jackie was bound, raped and sodomized; they cut her throat and stabbed her over 30 times. Another person was also killed but the one they were apparently after survived. No one has ever been apprehended for this crime.
This last statement is now out of date, as we detailed in a January post. That month, a grand jury indicted three men -- Andre Jackson, Samuel Sims and Jackie McConnell -- for a grisly and shocking crime detailed in a document on view below.

About 4:30 a.m. on July 12, as we reported, Denver police officers and paramedics from Denver Health arrived at 3234 Larimer Street to find a man named Mack Martinez lying in the entryway of the home. His ankles were bound and he was badly hurt.

Further inside, they discovered two more people: Nelson Swiggett and Gallegos. Swiggett's ankles were also bound, and he had suffered multiple stab wounds. Gallegos, for her part, was found lying naked in a bedroom with what was described as "a sharp force injury to her throat."

Both Swiggett and Gallegos died of their injuries, but Martinez, described as a "suspected drug dealer," survived and was able to tell police what happened. According to him, five or six intruders -- one with a shotgun -- forced their way into the home at about 3 a.m. Their faces were covered and they wore dark clothes.

The men ordered Martinez into the bedroom and demanded money and drugs -- and their methods of persuasion were severe. After his eyes were covered, he's said to have been tied up and tortured with a wire hanger and a knife, with the latter being used to make a cut on his throat.

Gallegos was in the same room, and Martinez said that as he was being abused, he could hear three male voices and the sound of her being sexually assaulted.

Swiggett was in another part of the house. Martinez recalled hearing him "being beaten and begging for his life," the indictment says.

Continue for more about Jacqueline Gallegos and the death penalty, including an indictment naming her suspected killers.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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