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Robbery suspects await deals, hearing

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 16th, 2013

Christina Jiron and Linndon Gallegos

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — A man accused of aggravated robbery and other offenses may be getting closer to a plea deal with prosecutors, but his alleged accomplice is still waiting for her right to a preliminary hearing in county court.

Linndon Gallegos waived that right on Monday, leading Alamosa County Judge Daniel Walzl to set his first appearance in 12th Judicial District Court on Feb. 11.

But the judge continued Christina Jiron’s Jan. 14 preliminary hearing to Feb. 4, after defense attorney Barbara Zollars told the court the district attorney’s office did not provide her with recent discovery materials.

Judge Walzl ordered the district attorney’s office to hand the documents over to Zollars by Friday at the latest, and advised prosecutors to be more prepared in the future.

“This is going to bite the district attorney’s office,” he said. “There has to be coverage — especially for the big cases.”

The judge said he appreciated the fact that a very busy Deputy District Attorney Mark Loy could not clone himself.

“But you have colleagues,” he said.

Zollars said she was slightly torn by the idea of continuing the proceedings.

At another point, she said the move was not fair to her client. Nor was it fair, she said, to the witnesses who were subpoenaed to appear in court, where they remained for two hours.

“I’m not blaming the court,” Zollars said. “I am blaming the district attorney’s office, though.”

According to Loy, the discovery materials in question don’t pertain directly to Jiron.

He told the court that a subsequent report on Jiron’s co-defendant led his office to file an added count against Gallegos.

The two Monte Vista residents were previously charged with six felony counts each in connection with an alleged Halloween night robbery in Alamosa.

Jiron, 24, faces two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated robbery of a controlled substance, first degree burglary and theft; Gallegos, 21, faces identical charges, as well as an additional count of misdemeanor theft.

According to a police report on the incident, an armed man and woman wearing ski masks and gloves allegedly forced their way into an Eighth Street residence on Oct. 31, and ordered the two occupants to the floor.

At that point, police say the pair demanded prescription medications and cash, and later struck one of the two women in the back of her head with a handgun. They also took a cell phone, purse and a laptop computer from the residence, according to police.

The two suspects were later apprehended on Nov. 14 in Del Norte, based on a tip from Crime Stoppers, and with the help of the Monte Vista and Del Norte police departments.

The added count against Gallegos is included in the proposed plea agreement, which will remain open for 90 days after his first appearance in district court, pending further negotiations.

If he agrees to plead guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, as well as the added misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual contact, the district attorney’s office will dismiss the remaining charges against him. (Under the terms of the proposed deal, Gallegos must also agree to pay restitution to the alleged victims in the case.)

Both defendants remain in custody at the Alamosa County Detention Center; their cash or surety bonds currently stand at $100,000.

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