Greeley man accused of child abuse resulting in death tries to fire attorney; July date set in the case
May 3, 2017
Nathan Archuleta, 31, who is accused of neglecting his 4-month-old son until he died, is next scheduled to appear in court 2:30 p.m. July 7. His mother, Sandy Archuleta, 52, also faces charges in connection with the child’s death. She is next scheduled to appear in court for trial 8:30 a.m. Sept. 25.
The case of a man accused of neglecting his 4-month-old son until he died has been continued until July, after he asked in court to fire his attorney Wednesday afternoon.
By the time the case resumes, the child, Donovan Archuleta, will have been dead for almost two years. His father, Nathan Archuleta, 31, was arrested in connection with the death, as was his mother, Sandy Archuleta, 52, and the child's mother, 30-year-old Angelica Chavez.
The case has its origins in the late summer of 2015. According to police reports, on July 27, Chavez dropped Donovan off at the Archuletas' home. When she left that day, the baby was fine.
When she returned six days later on Aug. 1, though, Donovan had chemical burns on his face, abscesses to his gums, a torn frenulum, a collection of scabs that looked to have been inflicted by a pair of tweezers and at least four broken ribs. He also had pneumonia, according to affidavits.
Both Archuletas told police Donovan got sick during his stay with them. In an effort to lower the child's fever, Sandy Archuleta soaked potato slices in vinegar and placed them on his face. She told officers she believed that's what caused the chemical burns.
Despite the efforts of police and doctors, the baby died about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 2, 2015.
Chavez was convicted of negligent child abuse resulting in death. In April, she was sentenced to eight years in prison.
The Archuletas' cases, though, continue to move through court. On Wednesday, according to Tyler Hill, spokesman for the Weld District Attorney's office, Archuleta asked to fire Keith Coleman, his public defender in the case.
That prompted the hearing to go into a "closed courtroom" session, Hill said. It allows defendants, attorneys and judges to discuss matters privately. It was allowed Wednesday, Hill said, because Archuleta only wanted to discuss a client-attorney relationship, not case evidence or litigation.
When Nathan Archuleta emerged from the private session, though, Coleman was still his attorney, according to Hill. Hill did not have information about what was discussed during the session.