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Boulder police officers remove Fidel Jaramillo from a hostage situation Oct. 28, 2018, at Hair Rage International in Boulder. (Camera file photo)
Boulder police officers remove Fidel Jaramillo from a hostage situation Oct. 28, 2018, at Hair Rage International in Boulder. (Camera file photo)

Trial began Tuesday for a man accused of taking his wife hostage for two hours at a south Boulder shopping center in 2018.

Fidel Jaramillo, 46, is set for a seven-day trial on one count of second-degree kidnapping, four counts of felony menacing, illegal possession of a weapon and third-degree assault.

After Boulder District Judge Bruce Langer swore in the jury Tuesday afternoon, Boulder Deputy District Attorney Erica Baasten began opening arguments by describing a chaotic scene the morning of Oct. 24, 2018.

Baasten said Jaramillo went to see his wife at her place of work, Hair Rage International, 633 S. Broadway, at the Table Mesa Shopping Center in south Boulder. Baasten said the two were separated, but were still talking and texting.

“There was no indication of what he has in store,” Baasten said.

Baasten said Jaramillo pulled a gun at the salon, telling three other women to get out while keeping his wife inside. Baasten said he kept her there for more than two hours before eventually surrendering to police.

Police reportedly found a loaded gun, knives, a baton and a total of 191 bullets on Jaramillo and inside the salon.

“You’re going to hear about every decision the defendant made,” Baasten said. “At the end of this we’re going to come back and ask you to hold him accountable.”

But Jarmillo’s defense attorney Charles Elliott said Jaramillo never intended to hurt anyone but himself that morning.

“That morning, Fidel Jaramillo had gotten up and he had had enough,” Elliot said. Tired of his chronic pain and depression, Elliot told the jurors Jaramillo had decided to take his own life.

“All he wanted to do at that hair salon was say goodbye to his wife,” Elliott said.

Elliott said Jaramillo cleared everyone out of the salon, but only so he could talk alone with his wife. Elliott also said Jaramillo’s wife stayed voluntarily, trying to calm her husband down.

“She never felt any fear except for one thing, that he was going to kill himself in her presence,” Elliott said.

Elliott told the jurors they would be hearing a lot about the two hours Jaramillo and his wife were holed up in the salon, but urged the jurors to focus on the events that led the entire incident and Jaramillo’s mindset at that time.

“A lot will be made of this hostage standoff and the two hours. That’s the melodrama,” Elliott said. “You’re going to hear a lot that doesn’t go to the heart of the matter.”

Instead, Elliott asked the jurors to focus on the events leading up to the standoff and Jaramillo’s mindset at the time.

“When all of the evidence is done, you will be focusing on those few minutes, I suggest to you,” Elliott said.

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