Jury finds Colondres guilty in knife assault case
February 1, 2013
A jury of eight men and four women found Daniel Lucas Colondres guilty of the attempted murder of Taylor George and attempted voluntary manslaughter of Shanti Reynolds in Nevada County Superior Court Wednesday.
Colondres, who was 25 at the time, had been stalking Reynolds for a period of time before he broke into her residence in the gated Lake Wildwood community Aug. 20, 2011.
He slashed Reynolds and George, her boyfriend, with a knife before a neighbor drove him off by hitting him with a golf club.
After deliberating for more than two days and asking “numerous” questions, the jury found Colondres guilty of attempted murder in the assault against George; they also found true special allegations that he had acted with deliberation and premeditation and used a deadly weapon. They did not find that he caused great bodily injury, however.
The jury opted to find Colondres guilty of the lesser charge of attempted voluntary manslaughter in the assault on Reynolds and only found true a special allegation that he used a deadly weapon. The panel also found Colondres guilty on the other counts of first-degree burglary with a person present, making a criminal threat, two counts of stalking, dissuading a witness, tampering with a phone and vandalism causing more than $400 in damage.
“I’m pleased,” said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson. “I think the jury did a great job … I’m proud the jury clearly took their time and carefully considered the evidence.”
Ferguson also gave kudos to Deputy District Attorney Ray De Jesus, who was her “second chair.”
“This was his first felony case,” she noted, adding that former Deputy District Attorney Ken Tribby, who served as Colondres’ attorney, was a “worthy adversary.”
Tribby said he was not surprised at the verdict, adding, “I don’t make a habit of second-guessing jurors. … I think they were a very good panel, and I know they worked hard.”
Colondres’ sentencing has been set for March 11.
According to Ferguson, Colondres faces a potential sentence of seven years to life for the first count with an additional year for the use of a deadly weapon. He might get several more years for the attempted manslaughter charge, she said; the other counts likely would be served consecutively.
“He probably will get a maximum of 10 years to life, given the charges,” she said.
Ferguson said she could only speculate as to why the jury opted for a lesser charge in Reynolds’ case but said it might be because Colondres “didn’t make contact with a vital area of her body.”
Reynolds sustained knife wounds to her hand, knee and ankle, and George sustained a knife wound to the back. She testified during the trial that she had been at home and asleep in bed with George when she woke up around 1 a.m. to see a masked man leaning over her boyfriend.
“He had a knife in his hand,” she said. “It was raised over his head.”
Reynolds said she tried to push Colondres away, and he punched George in the head about eight times.
Both Reynolds and George testified that during the fracas, Colondres said, “We’re all going to die tonight.”
To contact Senior Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.