Summer 2015 trial date set
WALSENBURG — Defense attorney Dariel Weaver entered a not guilty plea for her client Ralph Candelario Tuesday in a formal arraignment hearing in district court. The defendant remained silent during the short hearing, appearing in a yellow Huerfano County Jail jump suit flanked by his counsel, Weaver and Patrick McCarville, both of the state public defender’s office. Special prosecutors for the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office Ryan Brackley and Matthew Durkin appeared for the people before District Judge Claude Appel. Judge Appel set a two week jury trial to begin July 27 and continue through August 7, 2015. In addition to setting the trail date, pretrial motions hearings were set for May 18 and June 22, both expected to last a full day. Written motions for the May 18th date must be in to the court by April 9, 2015. McCarville asked the court to consider lowering Candelario’s bond to $100,000 and saying the defense would not object to any release conditions the court would impose, such as house arrest, electronic monitoring or a weekly in person appearance by the defendant to the clerk of courts. Durkin said the people would object to any change in the current $1,000,000 cash or surety bond citing the gravity of the first degree murder charge against the defendant. McCarville had argued Candelario has deep ties to the Walsenburg community and said in the defendant’s absence, his antiques business was failing. Candelario has been in custody since his arrest in northern California in October 2014 on the first degree murder warrant. Candelario was reportedly on vacation in California at the time he was taken into custody. McCarville said besides his business, the defendant has two properties and people in the local community that would ensure he would meet any restrictions imposed on him by the court if he were to be released on a lower bond. Durkin turned that argument back on the defense by saying Candelario has the assets to run, and despite only learning of the bond request the day of the hearing, prosecutors had spoken to victim Pam Candelario’s daughter, Shannon Palmer, and she objected to the bond modification. Palmer, of Pueblo, attended the hearing Tuesday morning. Judge Appel denied the defense’s request and the defendant was remanded to the custody of the Huerfano County Sheriff. Judge Appel will prepare a jury questionnaire for the upcoming summer trial and both the defense and prosecution will review the document and have an opportunity to suggest additions or deletions before it is filled out by potential jurors.