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Courts and Crime

Trinadie Lopez faces trial for 2023 street shooting in Cortez

Trinadie Lopez will go to trial on July 29 in the 22nd Judicial District.
Bystander wounded in shooting; jury selection could be long, judge says

The trial of Trinadie Xavier Lopez, 19, suspected in the September street shooting last year that wounded a bystander in Cortez, has been set for July in the 22nd Judicial District Court.

Lopez is suspected of firing the errant shot that wounded 18-year-old Josilyn Mark. Prosecutors say the target was Noah Farrar.

At the start of the plea hearing, Lopez’s defender from Durango, Richard Jaye, told Chief Judge Todd Plewe that they were prepared to enter a plea of not guilty.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Eley said they expected a trial to take about five days, while Jaye estimated it would take four.

Plewe said he expected a jury selection to go a full day, acknowledging that Lopez’s case and the circumstances surrounding the shooting have received a great deal of attention and publicity on social media and in The Journal newspaper.

Before going further, Jaye informed Plewe that Lopez’s family was considering choosing a different lawyer for the trial, but that a change was not definite.

The trial was set for Monday, July 29, nearly six months from his plea hearing, and ending Thursday, Aug. 1.

Jaye requested to appear at a readiness hearing on Webex on Tuesday, July 9 at 3 p.m.

Although Jaye said he did not intend to file motions before the trial date, Plewe set a motions hearing for June 7 at 10 a.m. in case circumstances changed. The hearing can be canceled, but Plewe asked that motions be filed at least 21 days before the hearing date.

When asked about discovery, Eley told Plewe that more than 1,000 packets and information were provided to the defense regarding the case.

At Lopez’s court appearance March 12, the 22 Judicial District Attorney’s Office told Plewe that Lopez most likely fired the gun, but that concrete evidence such as video was lacking.

The shooting took place Sept. 15 around Empire and Market streets and led to the life-threatening injury of Josilyn Mark, who was flown to Grand Junction after being shot in her leg.

According to accounts after the shooting, Mark nearly bled to death but was saved by Cortez Police Officer Kristin Cannon. Her leg also was saved, despite fears it might be amputated.

After the shooting, warrants were released for the arrest of the individuals thought to be involved in the shooting, including Lopez. Lopez turned himself into police the day his warrant was announced on Oct. 20.

In January, Jaye pushed off Lopez’s preliminary demand in favor of a polygraph test, saying they might not need a preliminary hearing if Lopez successfully completed the test.

Lopez’s next court date will be the readiness hearing July 9 at 3 p.m.