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Suspect in Cortez street shooting receives new counsel; waives right to speedy trial

Trinadie Lopez (Courtesy Photo)
Trinadie Lopez suspected of firing gun that injured bystander

Trinadie Xavier Lopez, suspected of firing the gun that injured a bystander in Cortez last year, on Tuesday waived his right to a speedy trial in the 22nd Judicial District Court after his representation was changed and pleaded not guilty on all charges.

Lopez’s hearings for appearance on counsel and arraignment took place in Chief Judge Todd Plewe’s courtroom. Attorney Richard Jaye will no longer represent him.

According to District Attorney Christian Hatfield, Lopez will be represented by Kent Pace from The Firm of Pace and Little in Durango. Pace will represent Lopez at his next court appearance.

At his court date in March, Plewe had been notified by Lopez’s family that they were considering hiring a different lawyer to represent Lopez.

Lopez was given trial dates that would commence from the end of July through Aug. 1. While the trial dates are still tentatively set, Hatfield said they would most likely not go to trial on that date as Lopez’s new attorney will need to “get up to speed” on the case.

Now, Lopez’s next court date is July 9 at 10 a.m. for a disposition hearing. Under Colorado law, a plea of not guilty automatically triggers a six month “clock” for a speedy trial.

By waiving his right to a speedy trial because of the change of counsel, Lopez’s six-month trial time frame will start on July 9 rather than on Tuesday.

“Basically giving the defense counsel more time to review and for us to negotiate,” Hatfield said.

On July 9, the court will know if the defense is close to a disposition.

Lopez, 19, turned himself in to police in October after a warrant for his arrest was issued by the Cortez Police Department. Lopez was wanted for his suspected connection with the street shooting in Cortez on Sept. 15 near Empire and Market streets.

One bystander was injured in the altercation. Video evidence hasn’t been able to definitively pinpoint the shooter’s identity, as the video footage isn’t clear.