WALSENBURG — Third Judicial District Judge Claude Appel presided over a day-long motions hearing in the first degree murder trial of Walsenburg businessman Ralph Candelario. The motions covered a variety of important pre-trial topics including questions regarding the defendant’s Miranda rights, alternative theories of the crime and a host of motions to suppress statements by potential witnesses. Special prosecutors Ryan Brackley of the 20th Judicial District in Boulder, Matthew Durkin, Deputy Attorney General were joined by the newest member of the prosecution team, Lisa Saccomano. The defense, who cross examined and argued their motions, consisted of Deputy State Public Defenders Dariel Weaver and Patrick McCarville. Prosecutors called a number of witnesses Monday, including Colorado Bureau of Investigation Special Agents Greg Sadar, Tim Harrelson (a polygraph examiner, who the record shows is the only law enforcement agent to read the defendant his Miranda warning during an examination the night of Jan. 16, 2014), Pat Crouch and former Walsenburg Police Lieutenant Kurt Liebchen. The defendant,
Ralph Candelario appeared in the courtroom in custody of the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office. Candelario has been held at the county jail in lieu of a $1M cash or surety bond since his arrest while on vacation in California last October. The hearing lasted from 9:30 am through 4:40 pm June 22 with national and local media members, supporters of the defendant and a few others observing the proceedings. Motions in the case from both the prosecution and defense were heard by Judge Appel but no immediate rulings were issued. The judge will be reviewing a lengthy video of the Jan. 16, 2014 interrogation of the defendant at the Pueblo CBI Office by agent Crouch and then-WPD Lt. Liebchen, as well as reviewing the numerous motions and answers filed in May and June, 2015. Judge Appel’s rulings on the various motions are expected to be made before the next scheduled hearing in the case, at 1 pm Thursday, August 13, 2015. A two week jury trial has been scheduled in this case to begin Tuesday, October 13, 2015. Publishers’ note: In an effort to protect the limited jury pool in Huerfano County, the WORLD JOURNAL has chosen not to publish the details of the various motions concerning disputed potential witness statements, prosecution or defense theories of the crime that may or may not present potential motive.