Steamboat Springs The fifth day of witness testimony in the assault trial of brothers Eduardo and David Capote began with emotional testimony from one of the accused men’s wives.
Desiree Capote, Eduardo’s wife, cried several times Monday morning at the Routt County Justice Center as she described the events of Jan. 1, 2009, that ultimately led to Sgt. 1st Class Richard Lopez’s death a couple days later in a Denver hospital.
Eduardo Capote is charged with felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor third-degree assault for his alleged role in the altercation with Lopez and two of his friends in downtown Steamboat Springs. David Capote is charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault. The brothers are being tried together.
On the witness stand Monday, Desiree Capote said that she and Eduardo Capote had dinner at a downtown steak house the night of Jan. 1, 2009, then went to the Tap House Sports Grill to meet David Capote and his girlfriend. The Capotes are from Miami and were vacationing here.
While at the Tap House, Desiree Capote said they began playing music on the jukebox. She said their music selections prompted Michael Wesley Mottlau, one of Lopez’s companions that night, to heckle their choices, leading to a disagreement that later resumed at the corner of Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue. Michael Wesley Mottlau testified last week that it was the Capotes’ group that began heckling him and his companions for their song choices, including making comments that the Mottlaus were homosexuals.
Desiree Capote’s testimony also varied in other ways from what was presented by previous witnesses in the trial that began last week. Tim Mottlau, Michael Wesley Mottlau and David Capote each said the two groups went out the back of the bar with the intention of fighting after the initial disagreement, but Desiree Capote said she thought her group was simply leaving the bar.
She also said that Tim Mottlau grabbed her by the shoulders during the scuffle at Seventh Street, shook her and “threw her” backward, but that she did not fall. She said she had marks on her arms but did not show them to police because they did not ask. No other witness has mentioned any physical altercation involving Desiree Capote.
When asked why she or another member of the group did not call police in the aftermath of the downtown altercation, Desiree Capote testified that Eduardo Capote Sr., father of David and Eduardo Capote, advised them not to because they were leaving the next day and did not want to press charges.
The trial will continue this afternoon.