Woman takes plea deal in 2011 murder


Staff Writer

Elizabeth Blan Elizabeth Blan

Following two mistrials, the suspect in a 2011 murder in Archuleta County agreed to a plea deal Monday morning.

Elizabeth Blan, 39, of Farmington, N.M., pleaded guilty to second-degree murder (heat of passion) and one count of violation of bond conditions.

The murder plea stems from the October 2011 death of Anthony Silva at a home along County Road 400.

Per the plea deal, Blan is expected to serve a total of 10 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections — 10 years for second-degree murder and one year for violation of bond conditions that will be served concurrently with the 10 years.

Despite the plea stipulating to a sentence, Blan must still go through a sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for March 18.

The plea deal follows two mistrials in the case in which the District Attorney’s Office sought a second-degree murder conviction.

The most recent mistrial was called in mid October after a hung jury failed to return a verdict.

Prior to that, the case was declared a mistrial in late June by District Court Judge Gregory Lyman after evidence that had been previously ruled to be inadmissible and prejudicial was shown to the jury.

The inadmissible evidence, Lyman explained at the time, 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.

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 a that male, identified as Silva, had apparently 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.