Vehicular homicide trial set


ALAMOSA — District Judge Michael Gonzales on Thursday set an autumn trial for Angel Nieto, 31, who is charged with vehicular homicide in connection with the January 16th death of Marcie Quintana, 24, of Alamosa, a passenger in the car he was driving when it was involved in a collision near Alamosa.

Nieto is accused of leaving the accident scene after he allegedly lost control of the 2008 Chrysler he was driving, and it collided with a Ford Ranger driven by a Capulin teenager, who was not injured.

The Colorado State Patrol, which investigated the crash, believed alcohol and speed had contributed to the collision.

Nieto was gone and Quintana was unconscious when emergency responders arrived on the scene. Quintana subsequently died at the Alamosa hospital. Nieto remained a fugitive for about a week before he was apprehended and charged for the incident.

He remains in custody. In May he pleaded not guilty.

Nieto appeared in court on Thursday with Public Defender Amanda Hopkins.

Judge Gonzales said Nieto’s right to a speedy trial (within six months) began with his May 16th’ plea, so he needed to schedule the trial before November 16.

Assistant District Attorney Ashley McCuaig estimated the trial would take four days, and Hopkins requested five to six days. She said the defense would be calling several witnesses including experts. She expected to call at least one expert but more than likely two or three, and those witnesses would take some time on the stand, she explained.

Judge Gonzales scheduled Nieto’s trial from October 30 to November 3 and scheduled a two-day trial in a separate case against Nieto for November 16-17.

In addition, the defense has a pending motion for suppression, which the judge scheduled to hear on September 8. Both defense and prosecution indicated it would only take 60-90 minutes to deal with that motion.