Desiree Capote, Eduardo Capote's wife, breaks down as she describes the events that led up to a street fight in January 2009 that led to the death of Richard Lopez. Eduardo Capote is charged with felony second-degree assault and one count of misdemeanor third-degree assault, and David Capote is charged with one count of misdemeanor third-degree assault.

Photo by John F. Russell

Desiree Capote, Eduardo Capote's wife, breaks down as she describes the events that led up to a street fight in January 2009 that led to the death of Richard Lopez. Eduardo Capote is charged with felony second-degree assault and one count of misdemeanor third-degree assault, and David Capote is charged with one count of misdemeanor third-degree assault.

Eduardo Capote's wife takes stand this morning


— 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.


atty 7 years, 2 months ago

WOW WOW WOW is all I can say. I am actually the Capote's cousin and yes I think what happened to Mr. Lopez is horrible. We are all stuck in situation where we really do not know what went on that night. And me being an attorney I must stay nuetral. so I sat back and truly thought about this situation yes, if it was my father, husband, friend, coworker or even just an acquaintance I would want the same - I would the want Capotes to be put away for the horrible act they committed. BUT WAIT when you really think about it from a legal rational perspective feelings, emotions, love and friendship aside IT WAS A BAR FIGHT - a bar fight that went BAD. It could happen to anyone. Who when they drink does not get aggressive?....what real man sits back and lets another man talk down to him. It is a natural reaction for men to fight - what man hasn't fought. People fight all the time....people end up with black eyes, missing teeth, broken jaws....unfortunately for this situation it led to death BUT that does not negate the fact that it was still JUST a bar fight. Regardless of the evidence that was not submitted at trial where Eduardo allegedly stated " don't f*** with Miami" or something to that extent who wouldn't say that in a fight.....People think about it - everyday people fight - tomorrow my husband and I can be out and another man can say something disrespectful and my husband may hit him - a simple punch intending to hurt the man to shut him up and 2 days later he dies - yes its unforntunate but seriously murder or manslaughter - as I stated Bar fight gone bad - as I am sure it has many other times. Yes, I do agree more weight is being put on this trial because of the alleged victim....I say alleged because we really do not know what happened. Were the Capote brothers provoked - did they act in self defense...then who becomes the victim. Everyone is a victim, a victim of their own self. When I say that I refer to the fact that we are all victims - victim is a person who suffers from an action...All the parties here are's the not the 60 year old man who rapes the 6 year old girl...This is about grown men who fought and unfortunately it led to death. There were no weapons...IT WAS ONE PUNCH...Come one people who would think one punch...should we all be afraid to defend ourselves? what if I punched a man because he slapped my ass and he falls back hits his head and dies...Will I be tried for manslaughter or murder as some of you have suggested - NO THAT IS INSANE....its is a fight....we all defend and react differently...they did not punch him and then kick him to death IT WAS ONE PUNCH !!!!!!!!


atty 7 years, 2 months ago

I really feel bad for everyone here because no matter how you look at it we have all lost a piece of something here. Lopez family lost a friend, father, husband and the Capote family well they have lost themselves in this disaster.....I will leave with one last statement....Had the man that was punched been a bum on the street we all would not be having this's unfortunate BUT so true....I see it everyday and I think this is what irks me worse about this situation...the police that park in the fire lane and are not fined...the police that run a red light - just because you enforce the law or fight for our country does not make you better then your neighbor.....I have cousins that are cops and my brother in law fought in iraq and they are no better then me or you......I hope the jury takes this into account....we are all human and make mistakes - There was no malicious intent to hurt/kill anyone here - IT WAS A BAR FIGHT GONE BAD...

I know I started this by pointing out that I am family to the Capote brothers BUT I am not biased because I really didn't grow up with them. I have seen/engaged in conversation with them maybe 10 times throughout my lifetime and I am 29 years old. So I do not state the above because I want to see my cousins set free - I state it because it is reality....


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