Lawyers for a man charged in the brazen burglary at Apex Jewelers say their client should not be lumped in with his alleged co-conspirators.
Daniel Delgado, 29, faces eight charges related to the March 2012 heist for which Thomas Hild, 53, was convicted earlier this month. Police say Delgado was the look-out during the burglary, which netted $474,000 worth of jewels from a safe.
But Nitche Ward and Linda Lee, the defense attorneys representing Delgado in a trial that’s scheduled to begin March 11 in Castle Rock, say there is no proof he participated in the crime. While acknowledging that Delgado worked for Charles Williams, the third suspect arrested for the burglary, they say police did not have enough evidence to execute a search warrant on his home or keep him behind bars while awaiting trial, like they did with the others.
Ward and Lee say there is no time stamp on the video that prosecutors say implicates Delgado’s involvement. Investigators have said it was Delgado’s run to McDonald’s in the middle of the burglary — caught on surveillance video — that led police to Williams’ vehicle, which police believe was at the scene the night the burglary took place.
Ward and Lee say police cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt when exactly the burglary took place, or determine the specific make and model of a vehicle on a separate surveillance video from Mr. D’s Locks and Keys, which is next door to Apex.
“You can’t convict somebody of a crime when you can’t say when it happened,” said Ward, who added that the prosecution’s case is relying on “speculation and assumptions.”
Lee says even if Delgado was in the vicinity during the burglary, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Delgado’s children live in the Parker area with his ex-girlfriend, she said.
“If you’re trying to be a look-out for a jewelry store burglary, who would be in McDonald’s ordering a burger?” Lee said.
Delgado does not have a criminal history and is a disabled veteran who served in Iraq with the U.S. Air Force, Ward said.
Delgado was seen with Williams on surveillance footage at a coin and jewelry shop less than one month after the burglary, but has not been accused of selling any jewelry. Parker police Detective Penny VanDenBerg said Delgado cannot be seen on the video from Mr. D’s Locks and Keys because he is driving the vehicle that Hild and Williams left in.
Ward and Lee say the 18th Judicial District’s decision to charge their client is the result of prosecutorial overreach to secure a conviction.
“The right thing in this case is to let Daniel Delgado go, and they know it,” Ward said.
Hild faces at least 48 years in prison if convicted on separate charges of being a habitual offender. He was found guilty on all counts March 1. Williams faces a jury trial in June.
Delgado faces conspiracy charges for second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, theft and others. Ward says Delgado is only guilty of associating with the wrong people.
“People want to lump them together, but he’s just not like the other two,” she said. “These are truly different individuals.”