Trial Delayed for Longmont Man Accused of Strangling, Sexually Assaulting Woman
The trial for a Longmont man accused of sexually assaulting a woman last year has been continued to the spring after his defense attorneys requested more time to review information submitted by the prosecution.
Juan Jose Figueroa, Jr., 29, will face a jury trial beginning on March 11. The trial was originally scheduled to begin Monday .
Figueroa is charged with six counts of sexual assault, as well as attempted second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault. He is accused of sexually assaulting and violently strangling a woman he met in a local bar in November 2017.
Longmont police also have named Figueroa as the suspect in the disappearance of Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, who has been missing since March. He has not yet been charged in that case.
According to a motion filed by the Figueroa’s attorney, public defender Sam Dunn, the defense asked the court for more time to review information about potential witnesses submitted by the prosecution.
Boulder County First Assistant District Attorney Katharina Booth, who is prosecuting the case, has endorsed 14 potential expert witnesses, according to the motion. The witnesses include medical professionals, psychologists, toxicologists and experts in electronic devices.
“The amount of expert witnesses that will be called to trial has a cumulative impact on counsel’s ability to adequately and effectively proceed to trial on the date currently scheduled,” Dunn writes in the motion.
The motion names a number of proposed witnesses, some of whom live in other states. For one witness endorsed as a medical expert, Bill Smock, Dunn said the defense received a 73-page curriculum vitae, among other materials. Another witness endorsed as a sexual assault and trauma expert, James Hopper, cited a number of publications, book chapters, a textbook and more than 100 presentations on his curriculum vitae.
In order to review all of the information from the endorsed witnesses and attempt to interview them before the trial, Dunn said the defense needs more time.
The motion also mentioned the defense has been able to interview Sarah Urfer, an expert toxicologist, and Dr. Travis Walker, both endorsed witnesses. Dunn is drafting motions to limit the scope of Urfer’s testimony and another unspecified motion related to Walker’s testimony.
Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, email@example.com