Fatal hit and run suspect appears in court Tuesday


ALAMOSA — Still awaiting autopsy results on the victim in the vehicular homicide case against him, Angel Nieto’s attorney asked to continue his first appearance in district court on Tuesday.

Nieto, 31, is charged with the death of Marcie Quintana, 24, on January 16 near Alamosa.

Nieto’s attorney Public Defender James Valenti asked that Nieto’s first appearance be continued and the matter not set for trial yet, as he is waiting for the results of an autopsy and DNA swabs.

Assistant District Attorney Ashley McCuaig said he wanted to move this case to trial because this case has caused significant harm in the community and the victims have a right to closure as soon as possible. He said the autopsy report would be completed in plenty of time for trial.

District Judge Michael Gonzales said he did not know why the autopsy report was not completed yet, but he did not have a problem continuing the first appearance for a month. He said he would then expect the case to start moving forward, however.

Judge Gonzales rescheduled Nieto’s first appearance and entry of plea for May 16.

“I would expect at least the autopsy report should be available by then,” Gonzales said.

Nieto remains in custody. He is accused of fleeing the scene of an accident in which Quintana, who was a passenger in the vehicle he was driving, was fatally injured. Quintana was unconscious when emergency responders arrived at the crash site on January 16, and she subsequently died at San Luis Valley Health in Alamosa. Nieto was apprehended on January 24.

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