Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — Unless he can come up with more money to post his bond, a man accused of participating in a violent home invasion last summer will remain in jail for the time being.
Chief 12th Judicial District Judge Pattie Swift on Monday denied a defense attorney’s motion to lower Mario Daniel Aragon’s bond amount from $500,000 to $50,000, since no plea deal has been formalized yet. The case is now set to go to trial on June 24.
Prosecutors allege that the 40-year-old San Luis resident is one of four men who forced their way into an Alamosa couple’s State Avenue home on Aug. 29 and demanded their money, drugs and electronics.
Both Aragon and a second man, David Cordova, allegedly told police that all four assailants planned to rob the male victim. According to an official report on the incident, they said they planned to steal one of the man’s vehicles and then drive it to Denver, where they would meet and disperse the items they’d stolen.
The male victim told police that the alleged assailants offered to let the couple go if they told them where their money and drugs were hidden. But they threatened to kill him if he didn’t cooperate, he said.
While Cordova allegedly restrained the woman, the man told police that the other assailants used a stun gun on him. One of those men, Colin Parker Young, also struck him several times with a metal hammer, he said.
The tables turned when the victim gained control of the hammer and struck Young, sending his alleged attacker to a Lakewood hospital for treatment of severe injuries. The other three suspects, including Joseph Ankeney, were apprehended moments after they allegedly fled the scene.
Authorities subsequently charged Aragon with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, aggravated robbery, use of a stun gun, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, second-degree burglary and misdemeanor theft.
Aragon previously waived his right to a preliminary hearing in order to review a plea agreement.
Under the proposed deal, the district attorney’s office would drop a majority of the charges against him if Aragon pleads guilty to aggravated robbery and use of a stun gun. It would also agree not to file additional charges stemming from an alleged Aug. 7, 2012 offense.
But as of Monday afternoon, no deal had been reached, leading defense attorney Barbara Zollars to request a trial date.
Zollars also sought to reduce Aragon’s bond, telling the court that her client has been in custody for a long time.
She said she believes that Aragon has a prior felony conviction on his record. But she suggested that he would not pose a flight risk, and said that Aragon would abide by any conditions or protective orders that the court imposed on him.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Loy countered that Aragon’s bond amount should remain unchanged, considering the charges against the defendant, and the fact that he has a prior criminal history. Both victims in the case also oppose the defense’s request, he said.