Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2001

Guardado to stand trial for Oliver’s shooting

December 6, 2001

An Edwardsville man accused of participating in the slaying of a De Soto woman will stand trial in January.

Jesse Guardado, 19, waived his right to a preliminary hearing last week and Johnson County District Judge James Franklin Davis ordered him to stand trial.

Davis set a jury trial for Jan. 14.

John Jenab, Guardado's defense attorney, entered a not guilty plea to the charge of first-degree murder on his client's behalf.

Guardado is charged in Johnson County District Court with the killing of Melanie S. Oliver.

Oliver, 41, was shot and killed by a masked gunman Sept. 4 at her Lakeview Heights apartment.

Guardado is the second defendant who will stand trial on murder charges for the slaying.

Alfredo Arambula, 18, of Kansas City, Kan., will stand trial Jan. 7 on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated burglary.

Witnesses at Arambula's preliminary hearing last month testified that Arambula broke into Oliver's home and shot her while she slept.

Witnesses said Arambula shot Oliver because another man, Juan Crutchfield, threatened to kill him and his mother if he didn't go through with the slaying, witnesses said.

Crutchfield, also known as Juan Guardado, allegedly wanted to stop Oliver from testifying against him in a domestic violence case and solicited Arambula's help.

Crutchfield was angry that Oliver and his wife, Tanika Crutchfield, did not bail him out the Douglas County Jail in August when he was arrested on unrelated criminal charges.

The women also reportedly drove Crutchfield's car against his wishes while he was in jail, Tanika testified at the hearing.

Guardado, who is Juan's brother, drove Arambula and Crutchfield to Oliver's home the night of the slaying, witnesses said.

Guardado and Arambula are being held in the Johnson County Jail on a $2 million bond each.

Juan Crutchfield has not been charged in the murder case. However, he faces trial Dec. 17, on several charges, including kidnapping, for the domestic violence case involving Oliver in August.

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