Crime

Simon Salinas: Gangsta gets 36 years for beating woman, ordering another attack on her from jail

Simon Salinas, a known gangster with a murder beef in his past, was really, really mad at his former girlfriend. Not only did he attack her himself, but after being arrested and jailed, he arranged for the half-sister of his current girlfriend to punch his ex in the face while she slept -- crimes for which he's been handed three-decades-plus in stir.

Salinas first made headlines back in 2005, following the murder of a onetime friend, Adam Perez, 24, the previous October. According to the Weld County District Attorney's Office, Salinas, then 22, plus Isaac Benavidez and Joshua Rodarte, all fellow bangers in the Sureño street gang, took Perez to the basement of Rodarte's home and shot him, execution style, allegedly for his ties to a member of a rival gang. They then hid his body so well that it wasn't discovered for over three months.

Benavidez and Rodarte both received sentences of forty years or more for the crime, but Salinas got off relatively easy. In October 2005, he pleaded guilty to accessory to first-degree murder, for which he received a six-year jolt.

Clearly, Salinas didn't serve the entire sentence, since he was free on July 3 of last year. That's when his former girlfriend told the Greeley Police Department that Salinas had attacked, beaten and choked her -- and also used a kitchen knife to try to break through her bedroom door of her apartment.

Salinas turned himself in the day after -- but the next morning, cops were called to the beating victim's apartment again. Her wake-up call that day? Being punched in the face by a woman later identified as Elizabeth Mendez, the half-sister of Sharae Flores, Salinas's current girlfriend. Salinas had spoken to Flores from jail prior to the attack, and part of their conversation had been about getting even.

Such retribution had a heavy price for all involved. Mendez and Flores pleaded guilty for their roles in the second assault, while Salinas was found guilty of first-degree burglary, menacing, intimidating a witness/victim and conspiracy to intimidate a witness/victim -- all felonies -- plus misdemeanor assault. Total sentence: 36 years.

You can bet prison officials will be monitoring his future phone calls very closely.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Germaine Wallace, aka Jell-O: Alleged pimp busted for hooker ring run through strip clubs."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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