Alleged jewelry burglars could be tried together

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The district attorney’s office is asking a judge to put the three men accused of burglarizing Apex Jewelers on trial together.

Thomas Hild, 53, Charles Williams, 37, and Daniel Delgado, 28, face felony charges ranging from second-degree burglary to theft of materials worth more than $20,000 for allegedly stealing nearly $500,000 worth of jewelry last March. Parker police investigators say Delgado was the lookout while Hild and Williams burrowed through the drywall of a vacant store next to Apex and drilled into a safe containing the merchandise.

Laura Wilson, deputy district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, filed a request to have all three defendants tried simultaneously. While she was unable to speak directly about the open case, Wilson said a “joinder” motion is generally meant to “seek efficiency for the court and witnesses.”

“Hypothetically, in a multi-defendant case if it is the same scheme and crimes for multiple defendants, it is more efficient to do the trial once with one panel vs. trying it several times,” Wilson said in an e-mail.

Douglas County District Court Judge Paul A. King continued a Jan. 18 motions hearing – a proceeding to discuss evidence – to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 4 because Hild’s attorney, Marques Ivey, had not received a copy of the prosecution’s 404B motion that considers factors like a common plan or scheme. Hild has been convicted in the past for burglary, possessing burglary tools, theft, fraud and possessing stolen property.

During the Jan. 18 hearing, Wilson said the motion contains “somewhat significant” evidence that could impact the joining of the cases. If the joinder request is approved Feb. 4, Hild’s trial date of Feb. 25 would likely be pushed back.

King granted the prosecutor’s request to admit “non-testimonial identification” evidence pertaining to a surveillance photo in the case. Over the objections of the defense, he also approved a “destructive evidence” notice which informs attorneys for the defendants that the evidence can only be lab-tested once. One strand of hair was found on a piece of drywall at the crime scene and will be tested in Grand Junction.

Ivey argued that it causes an unfair “hardship” on the defense because getting a defense expert to attend the test, which would occur on a weekend and require the lab to be shut down completely, is difficult. King agreed but said he is willing to hear arguments pertaining to the possible exclusion of the evidence after the conclusion of the test.

“It’s just the way it’s done. They’re not being precluded from participating in that,” Wilson said during the hearing.

The suspects were arrested roughly six weeks after the burglary – monetarily the largest in Parker’s history – after detective Penny VanDenBerg reviewed surveillance video from a McDonald’s drive-thru just feet away from the jewelry store and saw Delgado ordering food during the time that the burglary took place. Surveillance images from a nearby store put the vehicle Delgado was driving at the burglary scene shortly before he was seen at McDonald’s. The jewelry has not been recovered.

Hild greeted Williams with a nod as Williams was led into the courtroom Jan. 18. Both were wearing prison jumpsuits. Delgado, who is free on bond, was in street clothes.

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