Maez pleads not guilty to murder charge

Hilario Ernesto Maez II, 29, pleaded “not guilty” before District Judge Gregory Lyman Tuesday to a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 37-year-old Delphin Griego of Pagosa Springs.

Maez, also from Pagosa Springs, originally faced a first-degree murder charge for his alleged involvement in the incident. However, Archuleta County Judge Jim Denvir reduced the charge during proceedings April 1, when he did not find sufficient evidence to support the greater charge.

During Tuesday’s arraignment, Lyman scheduled a five-day jury trial beginning Sept. 28.

Durango attorney Alex Tejada is representing Maez.

The charge against Maez stems from an incident Jan. 7 at a home on Trujillo Road.

According to Archuleta County Undersheriff and Public Information Officer John Weiss, Archuleta County sheriff deputies were dispatched to the 700 block of Trujillo Road at five minutes before midnight Jan. 7, after dispatchers received a call from an individual asking for immediate help from a deputy.

Soon thereafter, according to Weiss, another call came in with the caller stating there had been a shooting with a fatality.

While en route, Weiss said the deputy called for a detective and emergency medical services. Ultimately, however, the deputy called for the coroner.

According to Weiss, Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht arrived at 12:30 a.m. Jan. 8, and pronounced Griego dead at the scene.

The deputies, with the assistance of the town police, then went to a residence in the 1200 block of Trujillo Road and arrested Maez on suspicion of homicide.

According to Macht, Griego died from a handgun shot to the head. Macht said the shot was fired some time between 10 p.m. and midnight, and determined the death a homicide.

Maez remains in the Archuleta County Jail. He is being held on a $600,00 bond.