Acosta takes plea; Ferrell trial rescheduled

ALAMOSA—Convicted by a jury earlier this month of sex assault on a child, Adam Acosta, 40, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to felony burglary and violating a restraining order in a separate but related case.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on both cases on April 21.

In the case before District Judge Michael Gonzales on Tuesday, Acosta had been personally served a protection order last February prohibiting him from going to a specific residence, but he went to the residence and was subsequently charged with violation of a restraining order and related charges.

Facing a longer prison sentence as a habitual offender, Acosta opted to plead to burglary and violation of a restraining order in this case, his attorney Public Defender Amanda Hopkins told the judge. He must be sentenced to at least four years and could be sentenced to up to 12 years in this case but might have been facing a 48-year prison sentence if he had not taken this plea offer, Hopkins explained.

The judge could sentence Acosta to concurrent or consecutive sentences on these cases on April 21.

Acosta remains in custody.

He has one remaining outstanding case, which is scheduled before Judge Gonzales today (Wednesday).

Also facing sexual assault charges (although involving an adult victim) during a jury trial the same week of Acosta’s trial, Nathaniel Ferrell was also back in court on Tuesday. The jury in his trial was unable to reach a verdict, so a mistrial was declared. Judge Gonzales set a new trial in his case for April 11-13 and will take up his case today to make sure subpoenas can be delivered and witnesses provided by the new trial date.

The judge had a window of 90 days to schedule a new trial for Ferrell and initially scheduled June 14-16, but Ferrell’s attorney contended that would not be within the 90-day window.

Although disagreeing, the judge decided to reschedule the trial in April when there would be no doubt it was soon enough.