Leyva’s assault sentencing now June 15
SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Daniel man charged with attacking and strangling his husband on Aug. 31, 2022, was set to be sentenced on May 18 after pleading no contest to reduced charges.
Nicholas A. Leyva had faced a March 13 date trial in 9th District Court.
Circuit Court Judge Curt Haws set a $500,000 cash only bond and bound Leyva’s case over to 9th District Court, where Leyva asked to plead not guilty by reason of mental illness or infirmity. Detective Travis Lanning had testified at Leyva’s preliminary hearing that during his Aug. 31 search of the couple’s home, while Wallace was treated in Idaho Falls and Leyva was in custody, he discovered marijuana items and Seroquel.
Then-defense attorney Alex Freeburg asked Lanning about the Seroquel – he stated it was “a powerful antipsychotic” medication prescribed to Wallace, who told the detective Leyva was taking his medication with his knowledge, records show.
From Aug. 31 until February, Leyva remained in custody unable to meet the bond after it was reduced to $100,000 cash only. He replaced District Judge Kate McKay amended the bond to include surety, a 10-percent cash payment, and Leyva was released from custody. He replaced Freeburg with private attorney Elisabeth Trefonis to prepare for his sentencing.
Judge McKay set Leyva’s sentencing for May 18 with two hours set aside.
On May 4, Trefonas filed a motion requesting a new sentencing date, with a family obligation on May 18 and a need for a much longer sentence hearing – four hours.
“Mr. Leyva requests additional time for his family and friends to present in mitigation on his behalf,” Trefonas wrote. “It also appears the parties will need to conduct a contested restitution hearing at that time.”
Leyva and Wallace were talking about divorce before the assault, Wallace told a detective, and Wallace thought everything was going okay, Lanning testified at Leyva’s preliminary hearing.
Wallace almost immediately filed for divorce from Leyva, a civil process also presided over by Judge McKay. Belongings, assets and a postnuptial agreement are currently being actively contested by the two men and their lawyers, records show.
Leyva was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession after Lanning kicked off an investigation targeting Leyva and his mother, Gloria DeNava of California, who arrived in Sublette County in the week after Leyva’s arrest.
Leyva pleaded not guilty in Circuit Court. His pretrial conference is May 22 at 9:30 a.m. and his jury trial is set for
DeNava, charged with felony delivery of marijuana to Leyva last August, pleaded not guilty and demanded a jury trial that was set to begin May 8. However, her public defender Rachel Weksler – whom DeNava tried to fire – asked Judge McKay to instead order DeNava’s mental evaluation to determine if she’s capable of participating in her own defense.
Leyva and DeNava are both out on bond but are forbidden by Judge Haws and later Judge John LaBuda to have any contact whatsoever.