- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A man who allegedly confessed to killing his wife after being hurt in a crash in western Colorado likely won’t face the death penalty.

As Arturo Navarrete-Portillo, 46, appeared in court in Glenwood Springs for the first time Wednesday, district attorney Sherry Caloia told reporters that she doesn’t think her office will seek capital punishment, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (https://bit.ly/1zM3Rze) reported.

“Unless it’s a heinous crime or multiple offenses, my philosophy is that the death penalty is not something I could go after,” she said.

Navarette-Portillo was being held Thursday without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife, Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya, 30. He has not been charged yet.

Details about the slaying, Carbondale’s first in 12 years, have not been released and court documents remain sealed although Navarrete-Portillo’s public defender will now be able to see the arrest warrant and affidavit.

A message left for deputy public defender Sara Steele wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.

During the hearing, Judge James Boyd indicated that Portillo-Amaya was killed during “the course of an altercation” on Feb. 16, the same day that investigators say her husband rear-ended an empty cattle truck outside of Carbondale.

Navarrete-Portillo was initially treated at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and was then flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. While he was in the helicopter, police say he told the crew that he had killed his wife before the accident.

Police didn’t find anything at the reported location of the killing but continued to search apartments in the area, eventually finding Portillo-Amaya’s body.

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Information from: Post Independent, https://www.postindependent.com/

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