The person sentenced to life in jail for fatally stabbing a lady greater than 100 occasions in 2009 requested a Larimer County decide Tuesday to order additional DNA testing in hopes of proving his innocence.
Horacio Pasillas-Rodriguez, now 30, was convicted of first-degree homicide in April 2011 for stabbing 21-year-old Elizabeth Olivas, the sister of his girlfriend on the time, 125 occasions inside their house Dec. 18, 2009. Investigators discovered Olivas in her bed room coated in blood with a knife embedded in her cranium, based on Coloradoan archives.
Pasillas-Rodriguez was sentenced to life in jail with out the opportunity of parole minutes after the jury delivered its verdict. He was 20 years previous on the time. Life in jail is the necessary sentence for a first-degree homicide conviction.
Pasillas-Rodriguez has maintained his innocence from the start, telling investigators an unknown intruder got here into the townhome about 6 a.m. after everybody besides he and Olivas went to work. He mentioned he tried to combat off the intruder earlier than the unknown man went into Olivas’ room and stabbed her to loss of life.
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Pasillas-Rodriguez’s legal professional, Lisa Polansky, requested Eighth Judicial District Decide Julie Discipline Tuesday to authorize additional DNA testing of proof collected within the case —testing she says may show Pasillas-Rodriguez’s story that an intruder dedicated the homicide.
“It is a wrongfully convicted younger man,” Polansky mentioned.
Natasha Powers-Marakis, a former murder detective who testified Tuesday, mentioned some basic items have been missed within the investigation, together with a hand print on the sufferer’s again that was by no means in comparison with Pasillas-Rodriguez’s hand. She additionally mentioned the attacker would have way more blood on them than Pasillas-Rodriguez did when police arrived.
Polanksy mentioned these lacking particulars, and the truth that Pasillas-Rodriguez was arrested lower than 48 hours after the homicide, signifies that regulation enforcement could not have totally investigated the potential of Pasillas-Rodriguez’s story being what really occurred.
She mentioned DNA testing on sure gadgets — fingernail scrapings from Pasillas-Rodriguez and Olivas’ mattress sheets — in addition to retesting DNA utilizing newer, extra superior expertise, may show another person was concerned within the homicide.
“New testing will end in info, interval,” DNA professional for the protection group Phillip Danielson testified. “Extra info is at all times higher than much less info.”
However deputy district legal professional Joshua Ritter advised Discipline additional DNA testing — even when new proof comes from it — will not be sufficient to discover a new suspect. Within the best-case situation, Ritter mentioned, additional testing may establish different unknown male DNA within the samples, however there is not any approach to know when that DNA was deposited and even who it belongs to as a result of it probably will not be eligible to run via the federal database.
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Pasillas-Rodriguez’s DNA was discovered all around the home, which is predicted as somebody who lived there, Powers-Marakis mentioned. However the prosecution mentioned it was additionally discovered in lots of incriminating locations: on the cap of the pen used to put in writing a crude message on the lavatory mirror, within the pen cup, on the wall behind the pen cup and on the knife that was used to stab Olivas.
Polansky mentioned Pasillas-Rodriguez tried to maneuver and pull the knife out of Olivas’ cranium, which isn’t an unusual response when somebody is in shock, and that is why his DNA was all around the crime scene.
“There are such a lot of issues rampant all through this investigation, prosecution and conviction,” Polansky mentioned.
Discipline didn’t make a ruling on the finish of Tuesday’s eight-hour listening to, however mentioned she would situation a written order at a later time.
The general public, together with the Coloradoan, is not going to have entry to the written order as a result of all previous and future courtroom paperwork are suppressed, with entry solely out there to the protection and prosecution groups.
Pasillas-Rodriguez doesn’t have any scheduled courtroom appearances upcoming. He’s presently nonetheless listed as an inmate within the Larimer County Jail, however will probably be transferred again to the Division of Corrections to proceed serving his life sentence.
Sady Swanson covers crime, courts, public security and extra all through Northern Colorado. You may ship your story concepts to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Assist our work and native journalism with a digital subscription at Coloradoan.com/subscribe.
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