Prosecutors said they are confident Robert Rose killed Mark Wayman almost two weeks ago in Ignacio, but they are unsure if he planned it.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office arrested Rose, 50, also known as Dean Seavy, in connection with the shooting death outside Wayman’s home in the 400 block of County Road 509, about 3½ miles north of downtown Ignacio.
Wayman was shot three times in the neck and the back of his head.
Deputy District Attorney Reid Stewart said Friday at a filing of charges hearing that his office needs more information from law enforcement before it decides whether to charge Rose with first- or second-degree murder. The difference between the two, in this case, is a question of the defendant’s mental state and intent, said District Attorney Christian Champagne.
Convicting someone of first-degree murder requires proving beyond a reasonable doubt that someone “caused the death of another person after deliberation and with the intent to cause the death of that person,” Champagne said.
Second-degree murder alleges someone “knowingly caused the death of another person and was certain, or practically certain, that their actions will cause a result of death,” Champagne said.
For example, if someone deliberated and decided to kill someone before committing the act – such as waiting in a bush to ambush someone – prosecutors may file first-degree murder charges. Second-degree murder could involve a situation where one person was stabbed during an argument, but the person with the knife did not premeditate the stabbing.
A first-degree murder conviction, a Class 1 felony, mandates a sentence of life in prison without parole, Champagne said. Second-degree murder, a Class 2 felony, is punishable by 16 to 48 years in prison, he said.
The 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office recently prosecuted a first-degree murder case against Silvano Martinez-Perez, who admitted to strangling his wife after an argument. He is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty. Prosecutors are pursuing a second-degree murder case against Mark Redwine, who denies charges that he killed his 13-year-old son, Dylan, and is awaiting trial.
Prosecutors on Friday charged Rose of Cortez with a Class 5 felony on suspicion of stealing a mountain bike, an incident unrelated to the potential murder charges. He is being held in La Plata County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Law enforcement said Rose shot Wayman as part of a feud that started two or three years ago over marijuana that Rose allegedly stole from Wayman, according to an arrest affidavit. Wayman was known to grow a large amount of marijuana in his home, according to law enforcement.
A woman familiar with Wayman told police he messaged her May 11, the day police say he was murdered, and told her Rose was at his house around 1:40 p.m. and wanted to “settle up,” according to court documents.
Wayman’s landlord said he received a message from the victim at 3:30 p.m. May 11 saying that Wayman was on his way back from an annual honeybee exchange at the Zuberfizz warehouse in Bodo Industrial Park.
“Wayman was always a man of his word,” the landlord told law enforcement, according to the affidavit. “(Law enforcement) believes Wayman was shot and killed shortly after this (3:30 p.m.) message.”
Law enforcement said Wayman had been borrowing a 2005 silver Dodge Neon at the time of his death – but the vehicle was missing from Wayman’s home at 441 County Road 509 when his body was discovered.
The Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle matching the description of the one Wayman was borrowing in Towaoc six days after his death. The vehicle was listed as stolen and the driver, Fernando Hill, was taken into custody.
Hill told investigators Rose had given him the vehicle and asked him to sell it May 11, the day of Wayman’s death. Hill also gave law enforcement access to his cellphone and Facebook account, where investigators found messages from Rose to Hill about the stolen vehicle and guns for sale.
“(Hill) also stated (Rose) had told him he ‘popped his dealer in the back of the neck twice,’” law enforcement wrote in the affidavit.