Pretrial hearing May 5 for Apodaca murder suspect

SILVERDALE — An omnibus hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. May 5 in Kitsap County Superior Court for Andrew P. Gilbert, the suspect in the Feb. 18 murder of Hector “Ricky” Apodaca.

Gilbert is in Kitsap County Jail on $1 million bail. His court-appointed attorney is Thomas E. Weaver.

An omnibus hearing is required when a suspect pleads not guilty. The prosecutor and the defense attorney may disclose relevant information and continue plea discussions, and the judge may issue rulings on motions.

Gilbert pleaded not guilty in an earlier hearing. Weaver would not discuss Gilbert’s defense, but according to an investigator’s report Gilbert said he was afraid of Apodaca and believed Apodaca was scheming to carjack the BMW they were driving on a Seabeck road the night of the shooting.

Trial is scheduled for July 31, but Weaver said he expects that date to be rescheduled.

Apodaca, 30, of Bremerton was found in the road late Feb. 18 on the 9300 block of Misery Point Road NW. A passerby saw the body and called 9-1-1, Detective Lt. Earl Smith said. Patrol deputies and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue personnel went to the scene; CKF&R personnel tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Apodaca and pronounced him dead at the scene, Smith said.

Investigators arrested Gilbert three days later at his father’s Silverdale home. Gilbert’s girlfriend, Hope Jones Calhoun, 20, of Kingston was arrested there and booked on a charge of first-degree rendering assistance; she allegedly tried to conceal and dispose of evidence. She was released on bail, but was arrested and returned to jail after she allegedly violated the terms of her release. Her bail is set at $100,000. She is due in court at 9 a.m. May 9.

According to the investigator’s report, Gilbert told detectives he thought Apodaca was talking in code on his cellphone to someone interested in the BMW that Gilbert was driving. When Apodaca got out of the car and told Gilbert to let him drive, he thought he was going to be carjacked, according to the investigators’ report. So he alegedly shot Apodaca twice and left his body on the road, where it was found by a passerby.

Apodaca was the fifth homicide victim in Seabeck in less than a month. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department and two federal agencies are still investigating the Jan. 27 deaths of John D. Careaga; his wife, Christale L. Careaga, her 16-year-old son, Johnathon F. Higgins; and Careaga’s 16-year-old stepson from a previous marriage, Hunter E. Schaap.

Christale Careaga and the 16-year-olds were found murdered in the family home, 13417 Tenino Drive, which had been set on fire. John Careaga’s body was found two days later in his pickup truck at a Mason County tree farm; the truck had also been set on fire.

Investigators have repeatedly said they don’t believe the Jan. 27 killings were random, that John D. Careaga was the target, and that the public is not in danger.

Apodaca’s body was found near Scenic Beach State Park, 7.5 miles north of the Careaga home. According to Smith, detectives believe the Apodaca homicide and the Careaga murders are not related.

— Richard Walker is managing editor of Kitsap News Group. Contact him at rwalker@soundpublishing.com.

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