WALSENBURG — Third Judicial District Judge Claude Appel denied a defense motion to reduce murder defendant Ralph Candelario’s bond during a 20-minute long hearing Monday morning, November 16th. Defense attorney Dariel Weaver’s motion sought to reduce Candelario’s $1 million c/s bond to $100,000. Weaver argued her client has strong ties to the community, and his presence and expertise is needed to manage and run his Walsenburg business, The Antique Mall. Weaver said her client’s assets are minimal with only $300 in his personal account and $1,000 in his business accounts. She told the court Candelario has a limited criminal history and even if the bond were to be lowered to $100,000, it would take all of his assets to make up the collateral needed by a bondsman. She said the defendant’s out of state property in Oregon had been sold and the value of his home and business in Walsenburg would just cover the necessary collateral if he were freed under a reduced bond schedule. Weaver also said pre-trial confinement of her client in the Huerfano County Jail has had adverse effects on his health, noting he had lost about
60 lbs since he was arrested and jailed in October 2014 in connection with the January 2014 homicide of his wife, Pamela at the family home. Special Prosecutor Matthew Durkin said case law concerning bond for capital murder suspects dates back to the 1880s-1890s, saying a capital case, by its very nature, presents a flight risk of a defendant. He said a motion to continue the trial by the prosecution, which was granted earlier this year, was a consequence of the defense strategy that two other people killed Pamela Candelario. He said additional investigation into the defense allegation caused the need for the trial to be continued from the original date of October 13 to the new trial date of February 22 through March 4, 2016. Durkin said the current $1 million c/s bond was appropriate. Durkin said a quick investigation by his office of Candelario’s assets indicated different valuations than those presented by the defense. Durkin said the prosecution was very adamant in its opposition to a bond reduction and was joined in opposition to the defense motion by Shannon Palmer, one of the victim’s daughters, who was present in the courtroom Monday. Palmer however, did not address the court. Judge Appel noted Candelario was a defendant in a capital murder case, and if convicted faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison and thus denied any reduction in bond. A status conference in the case was set for 10 am January 25, 2016. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office and returned to the jail.