Marquez’s arraignment pushed to August in fatal hit-and-run case
Ruben Marquez, the alleged driver in the fatal hit-and-run outside a Golden bar, is now expected to enter a plea Aug. 7 after his May 19 arraignment was rescheduled.
Marquez, 29, is facing first-degree murder, vehicular homicide and multiple assault charges for allegedly driving a truck into a crowd of people outside The Rock Rest Lodge on Oct. 9. Adrian Ponce, 26, was killed in the incident, and at least four others were injured, including Rock Rest employees.
Marquez is now scheduled to enter a plea at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
He appeared in custody during his May 19 court appearance, where the defense requested to delay his arraignment until later in the summer. The prosecution didn’t object.
Marquez was initially scheduled to enter a plea March 31, but the defense requested to continue it until May. That way, if Marquez pleaded not guilty, the deadline for a speedy trial would be pushed back to November.
By state law, a defendant must be tried within six months of entering a not-guilty plea, although a defendant can choose to waive this right. With his arraignment now continued to August, if Marquez pleads not guilty, the deadline for a speedy trial would be February 2024.
Prosecutors have previously shared how Ponce’s family “is frustrated with the timing and how long this is taking.”
Meanwhile, co-defendant Ernesto Avila is scheduled for a nine-day trial in late August.
Avila, 25, pleaded not guilty to a felony accessory charge in February, and he’s scheduled for trial from Aug. 22-Sept. 1. He owns the truck involved in the hit-and-run, but Jeffco Sheriff’s Office investigators believe he was a passenger when the truck hit the crowd.
Marquez’s attorneys disputed those claims at his three-day preliminary hearing earlier this year, promoting the theory that Avila was the driver.
The judge previously ruled to sever Avila’s case from Marquez’s, meaning they’ll have separate trials if Marquez pleads not guilty.