BOULDER — Boulder County prosecutors tried to convince a judge Monday that one of the men charged with the February 2003 murder at the Peerless Tyre Co. in Longmont confessed the crime to his co-defendant’s cousin.
The cousin, Stacy Atkins of Boulder, who was known as Stacy Williams in 2003, testified during the first day of a preliminary hearing for Ervey Delval, 21, who is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and attempted aggravated robbery in the shooting death of Charles Wilson, 86.
Atkins’ cousin David Rodriguez, 23, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and using a weapon in a crime of violence.
Atkins testified Monday that on Feb. 18, 2003, another man told Rodriguez he would confess to the murder of Wilson, but she did not know who the man was.
Wilson was found dead in the gas-station attendant’s booth early Feb. 13, 2003, but police believe he was shot between 9 p.m. and midnight the night before. Originally, police believed Rodriguez killed Wilson, but officials now believe Delval killed Wilson and Rodriguez drove the getaway car.
Rodriguez was arrested about 12:30 a.m. Feb. 13, 2003, on an outstanding warrant after a traffic stop. Delval was in Rodriguez’s vehicle, and police found some .25-caliber ammunition in the car.
In the months before the murder, Atkins said, she did not often talk to her cousin, but she decided to see him Feb. 17, 2003, after he was released from jail.
Although police had named Rodriguez as a suspect in the Wilson murder before he was released from jail, Atkins said, she never asked him about the murder.
Sometime during the night of Feb. 17, Atkins testified, Rodriguez asked her to go out and meet some of his friends. She drove her BMW to Niwot, with Rodriguez along, and stopped on a dark dirt road, she said. A car behind them also stopped, and Rodriguez got out to talk to its occupants.
One of the men from that car got in Atkins’ car for a while, but Atkins said she stayed in her car and could not identify anyone Rodriguez spoke to that night.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Scott Jurdem, Atkins admitted she never told the police or the grand jury about this nighttime meeting. She did not know enough about it to make it relevant to the murder investigation, Atkins said.
The next day, Rodriguez asked Atkins to drive him to Longmont, she said. Rodriguez told her to park at what was then the Denny’s Restaurant by Twin Peaks Mall, where they waited a few minutes until another car arrived, Atkins said.
The man whom Atkins said confessed to the murder got in the backseat of her car, and Rodriguez, who was sitting in the passenger seat, told him, “You need to man up,” Atkins testified. The man said he would “take care of it” by confessing to the murder and going to Mexico, Atkins said.
Atkins could not identify him because his face was obscured by the hood of his sweatshirt, she said.
After driving back to Boulder and dropping off Rodriguez, Atkins said to the man, “You really (messed) up, didn’t you?” she testified.
“I didn’t mean to shoot him; the gun just went off,” Atkins testified the man replied. She was not afraid of him, she insisted.
Delval was arrested Jan. 7 in Boulder, and Rodriguez was arrested Feb. 9 in Longmont. Rodriguez’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 3. Both men are being held without bond at the Boulder County Jail.
Prosecutor Bryan Quiram has not said if the state will seek the death penalty against the men, but Jurdem has repeatedly referred to execution as a possible punishment in the case. If prosecutors do not seek the death penalty, the men face life in prison with no chance of parole if they are convicted.
Victoria Camron can be reached at 303-684-5226, or by e-mail at email@example.com.