Leroy Fief murder trial underway in Moffat County

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Leroy Fief

— Leroy Fief, of Craig, sat expressionless late Thursday at the Moffat County Courthouse, where he will be tried during the next two weeks for first-degree murder.

Fief, wearing a blue button-down shirt, a tie, dress pants and shiny black shoes, listened to his lawyers and the prosecution discuss an evening that went awry last December when he allegedly stabbed a man who he suspected was having an affair with his wife.

If found guilty, Fief, 48, faces a minimum sentence of life in prison, and during the next two weeks, 14 jurors will listen to testimony detailing events that unfolded the night of Dec. 9 when Shane Arrendondo lost his life.

Opening statements started at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and the prosecution presented evidence and started calling witnesses Thursday.

Law enforcement officers and a dispatch officer were called to the stand, testifying about the murder scene and what took place immediately following Fief’s arrest.

On the night in question, police found Fief in the parking lot at Mathers' Bar with his wife. The couple was standing next to the body of Arrendondo, who was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at The Memorial Hospital in Craig. According to police, Fief confessed to stabbing Arrendondo four or five times.

The arrest affidavit filed in the case indicated that Fief suspected that his wife was having an affair with Arrendondo, and when he saw them kissing outside the downtown Craig bar, Fief confronted Arrendondo with a knife.

Craig Police Department Officer Jeffery Bond was called to the stand to recount the events he witnessed in December. He told the court that he heard Fief say that it had been his first graveyard shift, and he wished he had stayed at work.

“At one point, he put his head in his hands, and it appeared he cried briefly,” Bond said.

The murder trial is expected to last two weeks. Court is scheduled to reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.

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