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Pagosan sentenced in shooting death

On Tuesday, District Judge Gregory Lyman sentenced Hilario Ernesto Maez, 30, of Pagosa Springs, to eight years in the Department of Corrections, followed by three years of mandatory parole, for the Jan. 7, 2009, shooting death of 37-year-old Delphin Griego, also of Pagosa Springs.

Maez pleaded guilty to manslaughter and tampering with evidence during a hearing before Lyman on Dec. 15.

Maez previously pleaded “not guilty” to a charge of second-degree murder before Lyman on April 21. A five-day jury trial was then scheduled to start in September.

Maez originally faced a first-degree murder charge for his involvement in the incident, but Archuleta County Judge Jim Denvir reduced the charge during proceedings on April 1, after finding insufficient evidence to support the greater charge.

Durango attorney Alex Tejada represented Maez.

The incident involving Maez and Griego occurred Jan. 7, 2009, at a home on Trujillo Road.

According to Archuleta County Undersheriff John Weiss in a previous interview with SUN staff, 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.

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

According to a previous interview with 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 he determined the cause of death as homicide.