Archive for Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Espinales to stand trial for Baldwin City shooting

June 28, 2006

By Mike Belt

A mixture of alcohol, jealousy, anger and fisticuffs proved deadly inside a Baldwin City home during the early-morning hours of March 4, according to testimony Tuesday in Douglas County District Court.

His face bloodied after being struck by Alvin Sanchez, Hinndley K. Espinales left the house at 109 Hillside Drive and retrieved a handgun from his truck. He then returned and shot Sanchez three times, witnesses testified, and the final shot came as he stood over Sanchez, who was then lying on the kitchen floor.

"He shot twice. Then he walked over and shot again," Sanchez's mother-in-law Lisa Wellington said when she testified before Judge Jack Murphy.

Espinales' father, Rufino Espinales, testifying with help from a Spanish interpreter, said he wrapped his arms around his son from behind while Wellington took the gun from Hinndley Espinales' hand and placed it on the counter.

After several hours of testimony, Murphy ruled there was enough evidence to try Hinndley Espinales, 25, on a charge of first-degree murder in Sanchez's death. Murphy set an Oct. 30 trial date after the accused waived his right to a speedy trial.

Hinndley Espinales entered a plea of not guilty. His attorneys, Albert Freeman, a family friend from Flagstaff, Ariz., and Jacqueline Reid-Peterson, of Topeka, declined to say how they would handle the defense. They said they still were reviewing information in the case.

A complete story will be in Thursday's edition of the Signal.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.