The Denver Post
Eleven years after Nathan Ybanez was caught unloading his mother's body from the trunk of her car, a judge is considering whether to grant him a new trial or reduce his prison sentence of life without parole.
Ybanez and his friend, Erik Jensen, got into a fight with Julie Ybanez in June 1998. She was beaten and strangled with a pair of fireplace tongs in her Highlands Ranch apartment.
In legal papers filed Sept. 28, Ybanez's new defense lawyers claim that his trial attorney was ineffective at defending him, that Ybanez was denied his right to appeal his sentence and that the term should be reduced because Colorado's sentencing law changed in 2006 allowing juveniles convicted of murder the possibility of parole after 40 years.
Ybanez's new defense team, Chad Williams and Michael Gallagher, presented evidence at a week-long hearing in February and the legal papers are considered a final argument before Douglas County District Judge Nancy Hopf renders a decision.
The judge could schedule a hearing for oral arguments or she could rely on the legal briefs and issue a ruling.
Abuse claims disputed
Nathan Ybanez, now 27, says repeated abuse by his mother and father, Roger Ybanez, culminated in the murder.
Roger Ybanez denies the abuse allegations. Prosecutors believe Nathan Ybanez committed the crime because his parents threatened to send him to military school as a result of his rebellious behavior.
The new lawyers criticize former defense attorney Craig Truman for not raising the issue of abuse with jurors and say Truman was hired by Roger Ybanez to defend his son, creating a conflict-of-interest in presenting an abuse strategy during the trial.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Monday, October 05, 2009
The Denver Post