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Preliminary hearing in child death rescheduled

WALSENBURG — The preliminary hearing in the case of a 26-year old Walsenburg woman accused in the child abuse death of her live-in boyfriend’s daughter, four-year old Alani Tatiana Reyes-Cueva, has been reset for November. Marissa Jackson had been scheduled to appear in court for the preliminary hearing on the charge of child abuse resulting in death, on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, but the matter has been rescheduled for 9 am Wednesday, November 19 at the county courthouse in Walsenburg. While the case was sealed by Third Judicial District Judge Leslie Gerbracht following Jackson’s initial court appearance, it is believed the District Attorney’s Office asked for the most recent continuance due to results of a neurological pathologist’s autopsy findings not yet being completed and available to the prosecution. A first autopsy on the victim was conducted August 4 at the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office. Police and EMTs were called to the home at 227 E. Eighth St. that Jackson and Donavan Cueva, 25, shared at about 10 pm

on August 3, 2014 on an initial call of an unresponsive child. The toddler was rushed to Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center where she was pronounced dead. Donavan Cueva was not at home when the alleged incident occurred. He told police in an interview Monday, August 4, he was working as a landscaper in the Denver metro area and came home to Walsenburg mainly on the weekends. Jackson was allegedly left alone to care for her three young children as well as Cueva’s two young sons and four year old Alani. An unidentified female friend of Jackson’s was at the home when police and emergency medical personnel arrived. Michelle Reyes is the mother of the victim and of Cueva’s two sons. Jackson and Cueva do not have any children together. Jackson has remained in custody in the Huerfano County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash or surety bond since her arrest August 4. Jackson was questioned by local and state investigators for about two hours late Monday afternoon, August 4, and following the interview, Walsenburg Police Chief Tommie McLallen made the decision to arrest her. “The decision to arrest was based on her interview and the totality of other statements, and evidence we obtained during the investigation,” he said that evening. Walsenburg police acted quickly in the investigation, sealing the crime scene and calling in forensic specialists and field agents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. “A huge thanks is owed to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, specifically agents Gregg Slater and Randy Watts for their professionalism and assistance in this investigation,” said Walsenburg Police Department Sergeant John Salazar the day after Jackson’s arrest. Salazar is the lead investigator in the case. WPD Captain Vince Suarez is the case supervisor.