WALSENBURG — An unopposed motion for a change of venue from Huerfano to Las Animas County for the February 2016 first degree murder trial of Walsenburg businessman Ralph Candelario was granted last week by Third Judicial District Court Judge Claude Appel. Defense attorney Dariel Weaver said in her December 15th motion, “Due to pretrial publicity, and the small community in which the defendant and witnesses reside, the defense has concerns regarding Mr. Candelario’s ability to receive a fair trial in Huerfano County.” She said while the issue of venue had been raised before, with all sides expressing concerning about the probability of a fair trial, a formal motion to change venue had not been requested. “After renewed conversations regarding this issue, due to the unlikelihood of finding even a pool of potential jurors appropriate for this case, the defense has determined that a change of venue would be preferable to the potential of mistrying this case in February based on juror bias.” Candelario is accused of killing his wife, Pamela, in January 2014 at their home in Walsenburg. Weaver said the defense team consulted with the special prosecutors assigned to the case and they had no objection to transferring the matter to the Trinidad district court in Las Animas County. The defense asked the
previously set trial dates beginning with jury reporting on Feb. 17, 2016 be used. “However, defense counsel and Mr. Candelario are aware that due to scheduling in the Las Animas County courthouse, that (request) may not be feasible and this request may cause a delay of the trial,” Weaver said in her motion. In his December 17th ruling, Judge Appel said, “This mater remains set for jury trial commencing Feb. 22, 2016. The jury trial shall be held in the Las Animas County District Court. Thirteen working days are allowed for the trial in this matter. Proposed jury instructions shall be filed no later than February 16, 2016.” A status conference concerning the case is set for 10 am January 25, 2016 in the district courtroom in Huerfano County. Candelario remains in custody at the Huerfano County Jail on a $1,000,000 c/s bond.