‘Oh my god, get me out of here’

Details emerge in court as to why Cymone Duran was shot and burned

Staff report
Posted 2/25/19

The remains of Cymone Reyna Duran were discovered around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 5 by Pleasant View and Golden firefighters as they put out a small brush fire near the intersection of Nile Street and West …

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‘Oh my god, get me out of here’

Details emerge in court as to why Cymone Duran was shot and burned

Posted

The remains of Cymone Reyna Duran were discovered around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 5 by Pleasant View and Golden firefighters as they put out a small brush fire near the intersection of Nile Street and West Seventh Avenue, in the vicinity of I-70 and West Colfax Avenue just outside Golden.

Now a district court judge says there is enough evidence to proceed towards trial for three men accused of murdering 28-year-old Duran.

The preliminary hearing in Jefferson County Court for Abel Gallegos, 35; Alonso Quintana, 27; and Rene Rosales, 35, took place on Feb. 20.

Duran, a Denver resident and mother of two daughters, had been shot multiple times before being set on fire according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies who investigated her death. The investigators allege that the suspects were motivated by revenge, since Duran was cooperating as a witness with law enforcement in an attempted murder case in Adams County.

A preliminary hearing is where prosecutors attempt to show a judge enough evidence to justify a trial. Defendants are not obliged to call witnesses or offer a defense during a preliminary hearing.

The prosecution presented five witnesses — all law enforcement officers — at the Feb. 20 hearing.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Officer TJ Woodin, the lead homicide investigator, testified that an Uber driver had gone to the Arvada Police Department and said he was present at the time of the murder.

The Uber driver had been in contact with Gallegos for about a month prior to the murder through his Uber driving services, and he had been driving Gallegos and Rosales around on Nov. 4, Woodin said.

Testimony revealed that Duran was at a friend’s home on Nov. 4 when Rosales, with the nickname of Monster, and Gallegos, with the nickname of Demon, showed up for some sort of drug transaction, Woodin said.

Duran left with Rosales and Gallegos, and the Uber driver drove them to a couple of different stops before dropping Rosales off at his residence in Englewood, Woodin said. The Uber driver then took Gallegos and Duran to Gallegos’ room at the Trail’s End Motel, 9025 W. Colfax Ave., in Lakewood. At the motel, Duran told the Uber driver she sensed “something wasn’t right,” Woodin said during his testimony. However, a few minutes later, Duran and Gallegos got back in the Uber driver’s car because Gallegos wanted to meet up with somebody else, Woodin said.

They went to a liquor store, but it was closed, and then went to a McDonald’s near West Colfax Avenue and Kipling Street where a dark blue Chevy Suburban was parked, Woodin said. Duran and Gallegos got out of the Uber vehicle, but once Duran recognized who was in the Suburban, she ran back to the Uber driver and said, “Oh my God, get me out of here,” Woodin said during testimony.

The man in the suburban, identified in testimony as Quintana, had a gun pointed at Duran and he was yelling at her, saying that she “snitched” on him, Woodin said. Duran and Gallegos got back in the Uber vehicle and they make their way to the area of Nile Street and West Seventh Avenue, with Quintana following them in the suburban, Woodin said.

There, Woodin testified that the Uber driver witnessed Duran being yanked out of the car by the men and pulled away. The driver said he heard Duran scream, and gunshots.

Gallegos returned to the car and told the Uber driver that that if he told anyone about the incident, “the same thing would happen to him,” Woodin said.

Quintana got back in the suburban. Gallegos got into the Uber driver’s car, and he and the Uber driver made their way back to Rosales’ house, Woodin said. It was Rosales’ idea to burn the body, Woodin said. Rosales purchased a gas can from a 7-11, and the Uber driver, Rosales and Gallegos returned to Nile Street and West Seventh Avenue, according to Woodin, and lit Duran’s body on fire.

GPS tracking places the Uber driver’s car at the time and locations in his statement, Woodin said during testimony.

Attempted murder

Quintana is scheduled for a jury trial in Adams County in May on a charge of attempted first-degree homicide, for an incident dating back to 2010.

At the Feb. 20 preliminary hearing in Jefferson County, the prosecution called Det. Mark Faulhaber to testify on the Adams County incident and its connection to Duran’s murder. Faulhaber is currently with the Commerce City police department, but had previously been an officer with Adams County.

Faulhaber testified that Quintana was suspected in a 2010 shooting that Duran had been a witness to. She positively identified Quintana in a line up, in April 2018.

Quintana learned that Duran identified him from the line up during a preliminary hearing for that case, Faulhaber said.

Quintana posted a $100,000 surety bail bond in Adams County on June 29, 2018.

Charges and arraignment

In the Jefferson County case, charges vary slightly for Gallegos, Quintana and Rosales.

Gallegos faces 19 charges, with 11 of them felonies; Quintana faces 13 charges, with seven of them felonies; and Rosales faces nine charges, with four of them felonies.

Both Gallegos and Quintana face two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and retaliation against a witness or victim. Rosales faces a felony charge of accessory to a crime of first-degree murder.

Gallegos and Rosales are both being charged with tampering with a deceased body and tampering with physical evidence.

Gallegos is being charged with second-degree assault and possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance. Quintana faces a felony charge of violation of bail bond conditions.

All three men face a felony charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and non-felony charges of being a habitual criminal.

However, Gallegos and Quintana are being held without bond. Rosales’ bond was set at $250,000 on Nov. 16. As of the Feb. 20 hearing, he remained in custody.

All three men will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. April 4.

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