Defendant in murder case combative in court

Silva makes puzzling statements, including firing of public defender

An Ignacio man charged with beating his stepfather to death with a propane tank appeared agitated and combative Thursday in 6th Judicial District Court.

Richard Silva was scheduled for an arraignment – a fairly routine hearing in which the defendant enters a “guilty” or “not guilty” plea – but the hearing was postponed after Silva began yelling profanities at his lawyer and challenged courtroom deputies.

Silva, wearing shackles and a jail-issued jumpsuit, stood up without permission and was forced to sit down by two deputies.

Family members gasped and began crying during the encounter.

He made several obscure statements punctuated by profanities that were barely audible in the courtroom gallery.

“You’re fired,” he told his public defense lawyer, Justin Bogan. “No game. Hocus pocus. I fired him.”

Judge Jeffrey Wilson took Silva’s case first so deputies could remove him from the courtroom.

The arraignment was rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 17 in District Court.

Silva is charged with second-degree murder for the death of his stepfather, Clayborn Scott, 55, also of Ignacio.

The incident occurred May 8 in a house about four miles north of Ignacio and three miles east of Oxford.

He is suspected of hitting Scott over the head multiple times with a 5-gallon propane tank. Investigators are unsure what motivated the killing.

Silva and Scott lived together and shared a bathroom.

He was supposed to be at home caring for Scott, who suffered from a brain injury caused several years ago in a motorcycle accident.

Silva’s mother was in Durango at the time of the attack. Upon returning, she saw Silva walking alone on the side of the road. She asked him why he wasn’t at home caring for Scott, and he “mumbled something to them and kept walking,” said Tonya Golbricht, an investigator with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, while testifying Aug. 29 during a preliminary hearing.

Silva told investigators he couldn’t remember anything from the previous two days and declined to cooperate with the investigation.

Silva’s sister told authorities he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan.

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