A sentencing hearing for Jeremias Quintero was postponed after Judge Steven Schultz was handed a packet of sealed letters that he said he needed to first share with the district attorney's office and Quintero's attorney, Vincent Felleter.
In July, Quintero entered a plea of guilty to a felony charge of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, with an underlying sexual factual basis. Sentencing was set for Sept. 28.
The courtroom held the victim's mother and about a dozen friends and family members; Quintero arrived with another 12 to 14 supporters.
Although sentencing was set for 11 a.m., Judge Schultz was still working through the 10 a.m. docket. He interrupted those proceedings to consult with Felleter and deputy district attorney Seth Ryan before announcing Quintero's sentencing would be postponed.
By that time, it was clear more than an hour would be needed for the sentencing hearing; Felleter and Ryan said they each expect five to six individuals to speak to the court, including the victim's mother and an officer from the Delta Police Department.
They said a minimum of three hours would be needed, so Judge Schultz set aside the entire afternoon of Oct. 29. "This will be the only matter on the docket," he said.
The mother of the victim, who was 14 at the time of the incident, was clearly upset by the delay. Judge Schultz acknowledged that many people in the audience had traveled from the New Castle-Glenwood Springs area, but he said he wants time to fully consider what everyone has to say.
Judge Schultz said the letters would be opened, copied and mailed out that day. He also noted Quintero had been denied admission to the community corrections program, and asked the probation office to file a report with the basis for denial so he could take that information into consideration, as well.
Quintero, 45, was the pastor of the church the victim attended in Glenwood Springs. The teen lived in New Castle but occasionally spent weekends in Delta with Quintero. The teen was killed in a car accident last spring
During a preliminary hearing in Delta District Court on Tuesday, Jan. 15, Judge Steven Schultz found probable cause for second degree murder charges against Heather Jones.
Jones previously faced three counts in the shooting of Ryan Redifer in Paonia on Jan. 12, 2018 -- assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree and violation of a protection order.