A two-week trial has been set for June for Debra Riddle, who faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of her common-law husband just west of Mancos this summer.
Riddle, 57, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Friday morning. The trial is scheduled to begin June 8, barring an impediment.
David Mooney, a 60-year-old man from Arizona, was found dead at a County Road 37 residence west of Mancos on the morning of July 4, according to the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office. According to court documents, he had been shot in the head.
Riddle, who resided at the home, was arrested July 16 by the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and charged with second-degree murder.
Prosecutor Matthew Margeson, deputy district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, stated Friday the DA’s Office had over 500 pages of discovery information, along with other multimedia documentation, including photos of the crime scene, autopsy photos, interviews and audio recordings
Riddle’s defense attorney, Kathryn Polonsky, initially sought a second arraignment, saying key reports from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation wouldn’t be available for about four months.
“Absent those results, it makes it exceedingly difficult for Ms. Riddle to make informed decisions about what she wants to do about the case,” Polonsky said. The reports are important in filing motions, determining how many experts to call and conducting investigations, she said.
Margeson argued that the arraignment could go forward without the CBI reports and motions could be added later to address information from the reports if needed.
District Judge Todd Plewe preferred to set the date but expressed frustration with the “CBI backlog.”
“I’m certainly not going to rush anybody to trial,” he said.
Riddle and her attorney opted to plead not guilty and set the trial within the six-month window stipulated by state law to guarantee a defendant’s right to a speedy trial. Polonsky added that pending results from the CBI reports, the defense might seek a continuance.
Plewe set a two-week trial to begin June 8, with a motions hearing April 20.
Considering the possibility of additional continuances, Plewe asked that July 27 be an alternate start date for a trial, and May 18 as an alternate date for a motions hearing.