Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Vencil Ash re-trial set for week of Jan. 26


Vencil Ash was brought to the Kimball County District Courthouse once again, this time on Jan. 6 to prepare for his upcoming re-trial.

Ash was present for a 404 hearing, which allows for the submission of evidence that reflects on the defendant's character. There are annotations of this particular statute that encompass character evidence, prior bad act evidence, probative value determination and effect of remoteness.

At the hearing, state of Nebraska attorneys Corey O'Brien and Sandy Allen came forth with the intent to offer 404 evidence pertaining to one incident that would fall under the prior bad act category of the 404 statute. Three witnesses were called and they testified considering a threat that Ash directed toward members of the Guitron family after the verdict was read at the previous trial on July 2, 2012.

The three witnesses stepping forward in this instance were Antonio Guitron III, Patricia Sattler and Detective Kevin Maul. All were present at the reading of the verdict reading where Ash was sentenced to life for murder of the first degree.

According to the three witnesses, Ash allegedly made threats to Antonio Guitron II and Antonio Guitron III, Ryan Guitron's father and older brother.

All the witnesses testified that after Ash was sentenced he yelled several expletives and threatened both the father and brother of victim, Ryan Guitron. Antonio "Trey" Guitron III, recalled Ash's words, "You two sons a [expletive] are next," testified Trey Guitron.

All witnesses recall hearing Ash utter the words, "You're next," in some capacity. The witness testimonies were allowed into evidence by Judge Dereck C. Weimer. An email will also be allowed into the evidence, but that was not done at the hearing because it was ruled unnecessary.

The trial for Ash will be held the week of Jan. 26, 2015, and jury selection will occur on Monday, Jan., 26. Ash is being represented by Jeffery A. Pickens.

Ash is once again facing first degree murder charges for allegedly murdering Ryan Guitron of Fort Collins in 2003.

According to an earlier WNO article, Ash had been previously convicted in 2012 of first-degree murder in Kimball County District Court for shooting Ryan Eugene Guitron, 30, in 2003 at an abandoned farm in Kimball County.

However, the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered a new trial in October 2013, stating that in the original trial, the defense was not given proper time to prepare for Ash's wife, Kelly Meehan-Ash, to take the stand, stating that Ash's requests to postpone the trial so he could prepare a defense against the testimony should have been granted.

Also according to a previous WNO article, a five-hour long standoff in 2010 ended with the arrest of Ash by Cheyenne officers who were responding to a call of domestic violence and allegedly found Ash inside his home wielding a high-powered rifle with a scope. Officers evacuated the neighborhood and eventually were forced to use tear gas to end the standoff.

Through the investigation of the incident, authorities questioned Ash and his then girlfriend, Kelly Meehan, which in turn led them on April 8 of that year, to human remains hidden at an abandoned farmstead south of Bushnell.

The remains were taken to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff where they were examined and identified to be that of Guitron.


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