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No bail for suspect in Greeley juice store killing

Marcos Vallejos, 24, faces charges of first-degree murder in the killing of Angie Vega, 22, while she was working at a Greeley juice store.

GREELEY, Colo. — Defense lawyers want to evaluate the mental state of the man charged with killing a 22-year-old woman as she worked a closing shift at her family's juice store in Greeley last week.

At a formal advisement Wednesday, Marcos Vallejos sharply shook his head 'no' after Judge Marcello Kopcow asked if he understood the charges against him. Vallejos' lawyers said they would explain it to him later. 

They also asked the judge for more time before the next hearing to evaluate their client. "We'd like about three months. We think we need about that much time to investigate the severity and the nature of the mental illness issues at play," Vallejos' public defender told the judge. 

RELATED: 'She was always smiling': Family remembers woman killed at Greeley smoothie shop

Greeley Police said Vallejos, 24, waited until customers left NoCo Nutrition Friday evening. Investigators said he attacked Angelica "Angie" Vega with a hatchet, then dragged her body into her car and drove away. 

Hours later, police found the car parked at a gas station about a mile from the store. Vega's body was in the backseat and Vallejos was nearby. He said something to the effect of "Yeah, I'm your guy," as officers went to arrest him, an affidavit said.

Vega's family and friends packed the small Weld County courtroom for Vallejos' first appearance. Her mother, Virginia Barragan, cried as the judge read her daughter's name in court. Other family members stared down Vallejos, who was separated from the public by several Weld County deputies. 

Judge Kopcow informed Vallejos he was not eligible for bail because he's accused of a capital offense. He set a status hearing for Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m., despite Vega's family's murmurings of complaint that November was too long to wait.   

RELATED: 22-year-old woman found dead in vehicle identified, suspect in custody

Community memorials to Vega continue to grow outside NoCo Nutrition and in the gas station parking lot where police found her body. Vega's brother, Angel Diaz, described his sister as an inspiration. 

"She was always nice to everybody. I don't know how, but even if you could make her the maddest person in the world, a couple minutes later it would be like it never happened," Diaz said.

The family has set up a memorial page on Facebook and is accepting donations. The owner of Beso Salon, a business next door to NoCo Nutrition, said she is planning a benefit for the family on Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A fund for donations has also been set up at First Interstate Bank on West 20th Street in Greeley. 



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