Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — The cases against two co-defendants accused of participating in a botched August 2012 home invasion won’t be heading to trial, after all.
Mario Daniel Aragon and David Albert Cordova pleaded guilty on June 26 to attempted aggravated robbery and a sentence-enhancing “crime of violence” charge, leading prosecutors to drop the remaining charges against them.
Twelfth Judicial District Judge Pattie Swift is now scheduled to sentence both men on Aug. 8, nearly one year after they and their co-defendants forced their way into a State Avenue home and assaulted the occupants.
Aragon, 40, was originally charged with first-degree kidnapping, aggravated robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a stun gun, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, second-degree burglary and misdemeanor theft.
Cordova, 21, faced almost identical charges, but he stood accused of robbery instead of aggravated robbery.
The two men face potential penalties of five to 16 years in state prison, plus steep fines, as well.
One of their co-defendants, 21-year-old Joseph Taylor Ankeney, is currently serving a 12-year sentence in state prison for criminal attempt to commit aggravated robbery. A fourth man, 20-year-old Colin Parker Young, is scheduled to enter an unspecified plea some time next month.
Police quickly apprehended all four Denver-area men on Aug. 29, 2012, shortly after they broke into a couple’s home in the 1200 block of State Avenue.
Both Aragon and Cordova told authorities that the group planned to rob the male victim of his money, drugs and electronics. 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.
Police say it wasn’t the first time that at least two of the suspects tried to rob the man.
Cordova and Aragon admitted that they were involved in two previous attempts. Both attempts failed.
The male victim told police that his assailants offered to let the couple go if he told them where he’d hidden his money and drugs. But they threatened to kill him if he didn’t cooperate, he said.
According to the man’s version of events, Aragon, Ankeney and Young assaulted him, while Cordova chased after the woman, who managed to call 911 before he reached her.
While Cordova allegedly restrained the woman, the other assailants used a stun gun on the male victim; Young also struck him several times with a metal hammer.
At some point, though, the victim gained control of the hammer, and then used it on his alleged assailant.
When authorities arrived at the house, they found a badly injured Young bleeding on the kitchen floor inside.
The man told police that he assaulted Young because he feared for his own life, and that of his partner.
Young was initially transported to San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center, but he was later flown to a Denver-area hospital for treatment of serious injuries.