Machete-wielding assailant pleads guilty to menacing

Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 12:14 AM

A man accused of terrorizing a neighborhood with a machete has pled guilty to three counts of menacing.

Dressed in a black-and-white striped inmate uniform, Walter Marquez, 36, of Cortez pleaded guilty Tuesday, Oct. 22, to three counts of felony menacing and a single count of resisting arrest. The charges stem from a July 23rd attack when Marquez “kicked down the doors” of multiple residences on the 500 block of N. Harrison Street.

Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker accepted the plea deal once Marquez indicated that he wanted to give up his right to a jury trial. Marquez is scheduled for sentencing at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5.

At sentencing, Marquez faces a one- to three-year prison term for each felony menacing count, which could be doubled if the judge finds aggravating circumstances. Marquez also faces an additional one-year prison term for resisting arrest and fines that could total more than $100,000.

Public defender Zach Brown said the judge could order the prison sentences to run consecutively or concurrently.

Court records reveal a bloodied Marquez entered the homes of three strangers while armed with a machete on the afternoon in question. Reports say the defendant demonstrated “extremely violent and unpredictable behavior.”

One of the victims in the case told the Cortez Journal that she and her mother were walking in their neighborhood when Marquez approached them with a machete raised above his head.

Marquez was initially charged with two counts of first-degree burglary, six counts of felony menacing, false report of explosives, two counts of criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in relation to the incident. As a result of the plea agreement, the outstanding charges are likely to be dismissed.