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Murder trial ends with hung jury

Staff Writer

Following a day and a half of deliberation, the jury in a second-degree murder trial returned without a verdict Saturday, the hung jury making for the second mistrial in the case.

The trial underway was the state versus Elizabeth Blan, who was charged with second-degree murder following the 2011 death of Anthony Silva in Archuleta County.

Blan pleaded not guilty by reason of self defense.

The case previously ended in a mistrial in late June, deemed so by District Court Judge Gregory Lyman after evidence that had been previously ruled to be inadmissable and prejudicial was shown to the jury.

The inadmissible evidence, Lyman explained, was included in taped interviews with Blan that followed her arrest, with those portions of the video supposed to be taken out prior to the jury viewing the interviews.

Jury selection for the most recent trial began Monday, Sept. 30, and concluded Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Opening arguments in the trial took place on Oct. 3, and after hearing from numerous witnesses, closing arguments occurred the afternoon of Oct. 10.

Jury deliberations began on Friday morning, Oct. 11, and the news of the hung jury was delivered to the court around noon on Saturday, Oct. 12.

“We have every intention to retry the case,” said Assistant District Attorney Alex Lowe.

The case is set to be rescheduled for trial on Nov. 5.

The incident that left Silva dead occurred in the late hours of Oct. 27 and early hours of Oct. 28, 2011.

Archuleta County Combined Dispatch received a medical call from a residence at 1551 County Road 400 (Fourmile Road) around 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2011, former Archuleta County Undersheriff Jim Saunders and current undersheriff (then detective) Rich Valdez said at the time.

Saunders declined to release the identity of the reporting party at the time, but later evidence revealed that Blan called 911 regarding the incident.

Upon their arrival at the scene, ACSO deputies found that a male, identified as Silva, had been stabbed. EMS also responded to the call.

Silva, 27 at the time, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center for treatment of a single stab wound to the chest, according to Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht.

Macht said Silva received multiple units of blood during treatment, but was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Following the transport of Silva, ACSO and Pagosa Springs Police Department personnel worked to secure the scene and perform an investigation, Valdez said.

Personnel from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Durango Police Department, District Attorney’s Office and the PSPD provided additional resources and expertise during the investigation and collection of forensic evidence at the scene, Saunders said.

Also on scene when emergency personnel arrived was a 37-year-old woman from Farmington — Blan, Valdez reported.

Blan was arrested on charges of second-degree murder for her suspected involvement.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on October 17, 2013.
  • C

    That wench needs to rot in jail. A family lost a son and a brother and are only looking for justice. She MURDERED him!

  • Jason Herrera

    She defended her life from a man that had a history of domestic violence drug and alcohol abuse . It was a tragic thing no doubt. Nobody deserves to lose a family member but it he made decision to. Take another person’s life what would any normal person do bbut yo protect themselvesjjust like Elizabeth did . She never wanted anything like this to happen but it did . Were all sorry about these events that led up to this. It don’t help when you git a long past history of domestic violence against women like Anthony did. Sad to say!

  • Jason Herrera

    This is domestic violence against a wonderful mother to three beautiful children. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. Do they want justice or revenge