AP NEWS

Jury Convicts Longmont Man of Attempted Murder, Sex Assault

March 22, 2019
Juan Jose Figueroa Jr., 29, appears March 12 at the Boulder County Justice Center during opening statements in his attempted murder and sexual assault trial in Boulder. Figueroa was convicted Friday of one count of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of sexual assault, but acquitted of another sexual assault charge.

A Boulder County jury on Friday afternoon convicted Juan Jose Figueroa Jr. of sexual assault, felony assault and attempted murder in a 2017 sexual assault.

The jury acquitted Figueroa, 29, of one count of sexual assault, but convicted him on two others, as well as two counts of felony first-degree assault and one count of attempted second-degree murder.

Boulder District Judge Judith LaBuda’s courtroom filled to about half-capacity with people on Friday afternoon after word spread that the jury had reached a verdict. LaBuda admonished people sitting in the courtroom gallery to remain calm as the verdict was read.

LaBuda revoked Figueroa’s bond following the verdict and ordered that he undergo a presentencing evaluation. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 31.

The jury, made up of six women and six men, deliberated for nearly 12 hours between Thursday and Friday before reaching the verdicts.

Prosecutors argued at trial Figueroa met the woman on Nov. 24, 2017, at the Speakeasy Bar, 301 Main St. in Longmont. The woman later went to a party, which she left in the company of Figueroa and went a house on the 1000 block of Ponderosa Circle, where Figueroa was renting a room. The Times-Call does not identify sexual assault victims.

Prosecutors argued Figueroa raped and strangled the woman until she lost consciousness, but defense attorneys countered during the trial that the encounter between the two was consensual.

Attorneys offered their closing remarks on Thursday and the jury took the case on Thursday afternoon and deliberated about three and a half hours before going home and returning Friday morning.

Longmont police also have identified Figueroa as the suspect in the case of missing Longmont resident Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, who vanished in March 2018 and is now presumed dead. He has not been charged in that case.

Figueroa’s attorney’s declined to comment following the verdict. A prosecutor couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

John Bear: 303-473-1355, bearj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/johnbearwithme