Center murder suspect in court
SAGUACHE — Jose Hugo Perez appeared before District Judge Patrick Hayes in Saguache District Court on Tuesday with attorney Riley Selleck of Salida for a motions hearing to determine if Judge Hayes would agree to review potential evidence in his case in camera.
An in camera review is held in the judge’s chambers between the attorneys and the judge.
Perez, 27, is charged with the murder of 26-year-old Ivan Antonio Alforo-Sanchez which occurred in an apartment complex near 27 Highway 112 in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2016. He is facing first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping and other charges.
Prosecution attorneys, who testified via phone, requested a motion to quash a request for the personnel records of a Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent who helped investigate Perez’s case but later resigned or was terminated. Selleck’s motion for the in camera review was filed at the same time.
Selleck explained that in filing the motion he was not trying to discover anything without cause but truly suspected that the personnel records might shed some light on his client’s case. He told Judge Hayes that although the former agent was not the lead investigator in the case, he did conduct some interviews and handle evidence.
The prosecution objected to the motion.
Judge Hayes noted the charges against Perez are “very serious” and told Selleck that for this reason he would grant the motion. He observed that Selleck had made reasonable efforts to obtain the information through regular channels but was unsuccessful.
Hayes called the criteria for meeting the bar on in camera reviews “oppressive” but added it was not without limits.
The motions hearing was set for July 6 at 2:30 p.m. in Del Norte following the in camera review.
Alforo-Sanchez was a mechanic by trade with relatives in both Center and Mexico, his obituary related. According to court documents, on the night of his death, Alforo-Sanchez’s girlfriend woke up to find her boyfriend gone and two masked male intruders inside her Center apartment.
After asking where Alforo-Sanchez was and finding out he had left the apartment, the two men herded the girlfriend, her infant daughter and another child into a bathroom and held them there until Alforo-Sanchez returned. When he walked inside the door, the two men confronted Alforo-Sanchez and ordered him not to move.
The girlfriend then heard gunshots and Alforo-Sanchez breathing heavily. When she believed the men had left the apartment, she left the bathroom and found Alforo-Sanchez in a pool of blood on the floor of the living room with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Perez was later contacted by CBI agents, Center police officers and troopers with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) on a felony traffic stop in Saguache Feb. 25, 2016 and was taken into custody on unrelated assault charges. Later an arrest warrant for the murder charge was obtained through the 12th Judicial District.
Perez told law enforcement authorities he had been in the apartment looking for Alforo-Sanchez with a friend, Juan Vega. He described the confrontation with Alforo-Sanchez as a struggle for weapons between Vega and Alforo-Sanchez and said he shot Alforo-Sanchez only because he feared being shot himself.
Alamosa Police Department and the Alamosa and Saguache County Sheriff’s offices assisted in Perez’s arrest.