District judge says Trujillo “overcharged” in 2019 Capulin shooting


CONEJOS COUNTY — William Trujillo, 36, appeared in court for sentencing on Friday related to charges in the July 15, 2019 shooting of Roy Cisneros, 45, and Virginia Archuleta, 27, in the 8000 block of Highway 15 in Capulin, Colorado.

Trujillo was originally facing a total of 26 charges, including two counts of attempted murder with deliberation, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and a sundry of other felonies, misdemeanors and sentence enhancers. When the case was bound over to district court in 2019, it was ruled the people did not present sufficient evidence to support the attempted murder charges, but the assault and burglary charges remained.

However, instead of receiving sentencing commensurate with such charges, Trujillo, who had pled guilty to 2nd-degree criminal trespass in a resolution between the DA’s office and defense counsel, received acknowledgment from Judge Michael Gonzales that Trujillo was not involved in the crime and had been “overcharged” in the case.  Judge Gonzales then handed down the sentence of nine months of unsupervised probation, 40 hours of community service, no requirement of restitution and, should he successfully complete his probation, suspension of any fines.

Discussion in the hearing revealed that, several weeks ago, defense counsel had sent an investigator to interview Ryan Lopez, Trujillo’s co-defendant in the case who is now serving thirty years in the Department of Corrections. That interview had been delayed until Lopez was sentenced for his role in the crime.

In the interview, Lopez told the investigator that he took “total responsibility” for the shooting. Lopez said Trujillo rode with him to the residence, but he didn’t know Lopez had a gun or what Lopez was planning to do.

The investigator also learned that, after being dropped off at his house the night of the shooting, Trujillo had immediately called the Conejos Sheriff’s Office, told them what had just happened and stayed with them on the line until deputies showed up at his house. At that point, Mr. Trujillo had been taken into custody without incident.

That agrees with Mr. Trujillo’s account of his actions.

When Judge Gonzales asked Mr. Trujillo if he had anything he wanted to say, Trujillo said, “I was married then, and [after being arrested and charged] I lost everything. I got divorced. I lost custody of my son. I lost my job. I immediately called the sheriff’s office and apologized and told them everything. I think I did everything right. But I got charged anyway.”

Trujillo was in jail for over three months before he was released on a $125,000 bond. According to defense counsel, in the time since he was released, he has been steadily and gainfully employed, applying for and receiving increasingly better jobs. He has also been working to regain custody of his son.

When Gonzales asked about his custody situation now, Trujillo said he regained full custody of his son last week.

Judge Gonzales spoke to Mr. Trujillo about “staying out of trouble” and cautioned him in those people he chose to be his friends. As far as the case was concerned, Judge Gonzales said, “If you weren’t involved, you weren’t involved. You probably shouldn’t have been charged.”

William Trujillo’s sentencing was held one day shy of exactly two years after he was arrested.

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