Judge denies bond reduction for woman accused of murder
A district judge in Las Cruces denied a bond reduction for a woman accused of second-degree murder.
Jacklyne Legarreta, 23, is accused of stabbing and killing Delia Vasquez at a house party in Octobe 2012.
Joe Coronado, Legarreta's attorney, told ABC-7 she probably will not be able to post bond before her trial.
Family and friends of Legarreta and Vasquez packed the courtroom Monday. Many of them submitted letters to the judge arguing for or against lowering Legarreta's bond.
Her bond was already reduced once at her arraignment from $250,000 to $150,000 where it is set now.
"I understand the tragedy that brings us here today. I understand the court has heard this matter before, but it is the right of the defendant to request the court to reconsider that position," said Fernando Macias, Third Judicial District judge.
Legarreta sat silent in the courtroom as she listened to both sides' accounts of what happened the night Vasquez was murdered.
Coronado argued that Vasquez used a knife in self-defense.
"Police reports indicate everyone was extremely intoxicated. It indicates that one Vanessa, Leanne, and Delia, the victim, were all fighting against Ms. Legarreta. Three people against one," said Coronado.
The prosecution argued that evidence will show there was never a case of three against one. Prosecutor Roxeanne Esquibel claimed Legarreta was the one who started the fight.
"After getting out of that situation, the defendant who obviously got the worst of that, went in the house, got a knife, came back out and within a matter of seconds had stabbed Delia Vasquez. There's no question the defendant was the person that stabbed and took the life of Delia Vasquez," said Esquibel.
Police said Legarreta stabbed Vasquez in the chest after a fight broke out at a house party.
Coronado argued the bond was set too high and Legarreta's family would not be able to pay for it. He asked the judge to lower the bond so the family could pay it off with a property bond valued at $75,000.
Judge Macias denied the request to reduce the bond saying there was no basis for it.
"I think the family is happy and friends and family are happy. She already had a bond reduction and I think that was fair this time not to give another bond reduction," said Esmeralda Salazar, Vasquez's sister.
"I'm disappointed that he didn't reduce the bond because I don't think she's a flight risk or dangerous to the community notwithstanding the charge. I think it could've been a lower bond," Coronado said.
Legarreta's bond is still $150,000. The judge ruled the family could combine property and cash to come up with the bond.
Coronado said it's very unlikely the family will be able to come up with the money before Legarreta's trial date in June.
Judge Macias set the trial date for June 24. He insisted the trial would not be delayed for any reason.
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