Teenage girl charged as adult in Gypsum robbery
EAGLE — When police first questioned the 17-year-old local girl charged with helping Jesus Miranda in two alleged armed robberies, she told them they wouldn’t find gunshot residue from the illegal handgun Miranda allegedly used because they had wiped it clean, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Monday.
The girl told Sheriff’s deputies they would not find gunshot residue because, “they were wearing gloves and wiped the gun clean,” the grand jury indictment said.
The girl, who was caught hiding near the scene of an attempted armed robbery in Gypsum in which a man was shot three times, was taken into an interview room with paper bags over her hands. After she tore the bags from her hands, deputies put her in a “protective holding chair” to keep her from wiping and cleaning her hands.
The indictment said that’s when she told deputies why they wouldn’t find gunshot residue on her hands.
Miranda allegedly masterminded the Sept. 4 incident, in which he and the girl are suspected of trying to rob two stores, one in Eagle and one in Gypsum. Miranda is being held at the Eagle County jail on a $1 million bond. He faces 18 felony charges in Eagle County and eight more in Garfield County. On Monday, Miranda was charged with one more felony — violating a protection order.
Miranda had been ordered by the courts to stay away from the girl well before they embarked on their ill-fated crime spree, the indictment said.
However, according to witnesses and security video, she accompanied him on both attempted armed robberies, the indictment said.
ADULT OR JUVENILE?
Initially, the girl will be charged as an adult, prosecutors said during Monday’s hearing. The grand jury indicted her on eight felony counts, two misdemeanors and accused her of taking part in a crime of violence.
Her defense attorneys, Cynthia Jones and Kathy McGuire, said Monday that they will fight to have her treated as a juvenile. If convicted, the possible sentence for a juvenile is much shorter. District Court Judge Fred Gannett will determine whether she’ll be treated as a juvenile or adult. That hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4, along with a three-day preliminary hearing.
Miranda, a convicted felon and registered sex offender, allegedly tried to rob Dinero Rapido, an Eagle check-cashing store, according to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. Reportedly, he couldn’t open the door where the money was stashed and fled.
Frustrated in that attempt, he and the girl reportedly headed west to Gypsum to rob Tienda Montes.
Around 12:20 p.m. Sept. 4, Miranda and the girl allegedly walked into the clothing store, and she closed the door behind them. Police say she was wearing a hat, sunglasses and a bandana across her face, and Miranda was wearing a hoodie and sunglasses.
Police say Miranda smacked a clerk on the side of the head, stole two cell phones from another customer and shot Alan Gonzalez three times during a struggle when Gonzales confronted them outside.
Despite the disguises, witnesses identified the two. More than 30 law enforcement officers searched for Miranda. He and his alleged getaway car driver, Daniel Lee Happle, were captured after a brief chase and search in Garfield County.
Happle is in the Garfield County jail on $100,000 bond.
Because minors are not allowed to have contact with adults in jail, the girl is being held Mount View, a juvenile detention facility in Jefferson County.