Leroy Fief, 49, shed tears several times during his ongoing murder trial this week, when his wife took the stand and as he watched his own taped confession.
His wife, Mary Rose Fief, was called to the stand as the prosecution’s first witness Monday and gave emotional testimony at the Moffat County Courthouse. She detailed the events that took place Dec. 9, 2012, which resulted in the death of Shane Arredondo, with whom she admitted having an affair.
According to court testimony Leroy Fief and his wife had been having marital problems throughout 2012. He suspected that Mary Rose Fief was having an affair because he was monitoring her Facebook page and her cellphone usage.
He confronted her about an affectionate message she had received from Arredondo, and she agreed to change her cell number.
But on Dec. 8, 2012, Leroy Fief abruptly left his job at Trapper Mine because his wife hadn’t responded to several text messages and phone calls, according to testimony.
Two of Leroy Fief’s co-workers were called to the stand Tuesday and corroborated that Leroy Fief had left work early, claiming that it was because he was worried about the health of his son.
But instead, Leroy Fief brought a knife with him to the Elk Head Apartments near Mathers’ Bar in Craig, according to court evidence and testimony,
When Leroy Fief saw Arredondo follow Mary Rose Fief out of the apartments, Leroy Fief stabbed Arredondo four to five times, according to the arrest affidavit.
Mary Rose Fief testified that she and Arredondo had been at their friend Josephine Alexander’s home watching a boxing match. After it was over, and Alexander had put her young daughter to bed, Arredondo escorted Mary Rose Fief to her car. That’s when she said she saw Leroy Fief attack Arredondo.
“I thought he was just beating him up,” she said. “I thought he was just punching him. I told him to stop.”
Then, she said, “I saw the knife. (Leroy Fief) held it to my neck.”
The prosecution played Mary Rose Fief’s 911 call in court. When she made the emergency call, she said she was next to Arredondo, holding his hand to comfort him.
According to the recorded 911 call, Mary Rose Fief said to Arredondo, “Honey are you OK? Please honey.”
Next, Leroy Fief’s muffled voice was heard saying, “I told you to stay away from my wife, didn’t I?”
Then Leroy Fief kicked Arredondo in the head, according to court testimony.
In the 911 call, Mary Rose Fief could be heard yelling to Leroy Fief, “No. No. Just kill me OK?”
Moffat County District Attorney Brett Barkey asked Mary Rose Fief why she had said that.
“I just wanted him to stop hurting Shane” Arredondo, she answered.
Mary Rose Fief, who stands barely 5 feet tall, was reluctant to look at her husband when she was asked by the prosecutor to describe the defendant. She started shaking and crying after looking at Leroy Fief long enough to identify him.
The prosecution asked her to outline various events that took place before the day of the murder, including an evening in September 2012 when Leroy Fief gave her a black eye.
On the night he hit her, Mary Rose Fief said she had stayed the night with a friend and had returned home to find the garage door locked. She said Leroy Fief was waiting for her, and he hit her through the open car window. As a result, cuts and bruises formed around her eye, she said.
“He approached me and my car. He was yelling at me,” she said. “He was swearing.”
Barkey asked Mary Rose Fief why she hadn’t taken action.
“I thought it was my fault,” she said.
Leroy Fief rubbed his eyes and dropped his head into his hands while his wife spoke about the incident.
He also began crying Tuesday when the prosecution played his confession tape, which had been recorded the morning after Arredondo was killed.
In the tape, when officers informed Leroy Fief that Arredondo died, he started sobbing. In court, Leroy Fief echoed the sobs softly — his body shuddered.
Craig Investigator Norman Rimmer can be heard in the tape saying, “Your son is going through a lot right now. I need you to be strong for him.”
Leroy Fief said earlier in the tape that he had attacked Arredondo and he “wanted him dead.”
“I lost control of my temper,” he said in the tape.
Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.