WALSENBURG — First degree murder defendant Ralph Candelario made what was likely his last court appearance in Huerfano County Monday, Jan. 25 for a status conference before the upcoming two week trial set to begin late next month in Trinidad. Prosecutors Ryan Brackley and Matthew Durkin and their team and defenders Dariel Weaver and Matthew Ragland appeared with their client before Third Judicial District Judge Claude Appel in a short session to work out details prior to the February 22 trial. Discussions centered on the jury questionnaire, a network television expanded media request and various transportation and security issues. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys will contribute to the questionnaire that will be filled out by potential jurors for the two week trial. Judge Appel said he was not prepared to rule on the Dateline NBC expanded media request at the hearing Monday. He said he will have to look into the power availability and some logistical issues associated with the enormous district courtroom in Trinidad, but he did say if the request was granted it would only allow video recording of opening and closing statements and the verdict. It is expected Judge Appel will rule on the request as soon as the end of this week. If granted, NBC would act as a pool video provider for other media outlets. While saying the courtroom in Trinidad was one of the most beautiful in the state, Appel said it was not state-of-the-art. Both sides discussed their audio/visual needs regarding presentation of evidence with prosecutors saying they expected to introduce
approximately 190 exhibits in the case. Neither side will use exhibits in their opening statements. The was also some discussion regarding the day to day attendance by the victim, Pamela Candelario’s daughters in the courtroom. It is expected at lease one of her children will be a witness in the case. Security measures and transportation were concerns discussed, with defense attorneys planning on calling witnesses who are currently housed within the Colorado Department of Corrections system. Transportation of those witnesses is expected to fall to the Huerfano Sheriff’s Office as it is believed the DOC position will be outside transportation would be necessary as this is not a DOC case. The defendant will likely be housed in Las Animas County for the duration of the trail. The court ruled jurors will not be allowed to ask questions during proceedings but will be allowed to take notes. Candelario is accused of the January, 16 2014 bludgeoning death of his wife Pamela at the family home in Walsenburg. Walsenburg police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation worked the case for over nine months before an arrest warrant charging first degree homicide and tampering with evidence was issued. On January 30 and February 6, 2014, the World Journal published in two parts, a 3,345-word statement by Candelario who said his wife was killed by two men who invaded the couple’s home. The trial is set February 22 through March 4, 2016.