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Mother of man killed at Tesla charging station speaks out after suspect's court appearance

The family of Adam Fresquez is calling for an independent investigation into Edgewater Police Department for its handling of the case.
Edgewater Tesla charging station shooting 5-3-23
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 20:50:58-05

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The mother of a man killed at an Edgewater Tesla charging station in May spoke out after the suspect appeared in court Thursday.

Jeremy Alan Smith appeared in a Jefferson County courtroom wearing a black and white striped jumpsuit. It was the first time Lena Fresquez Mendez had seen him since her son, Adam Fresquez, was shot and killed in May 2023.

“And today, seeing him, I don’t know how I felt,” said Mendez-Fresquez.

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Fresquez, 33, was shot and killed at a supercharger station at the Edgewater Public Market on May 3, 2023.

The Edgewater Police Department said the confrontation stemmed from an earlier road rage incident. Video evidence shows Fresquez and Smith, 39, arriving at the supercharger station within seconds of each other. Fresquez is seen walking toward Smith's Tesla and then stumbling away less than a minute later, police said.

The video captured Smith pulling out of the parking space and traveling east. Minutes later, Smith called 911 and told the dispatcher he had maced and shot someone after they "pulled a gun" on him, according to Edgewater police.

"He was brake checking me... and I pulled ahead of him at one light, and he got ahead of me and was stopping in front of me," Smith's arrest affidavit quotes from his 911 call.

An autopsy revealed Fresquez was shot in the back twice. It also revealed Fresquez had trace amounts of cocaine and fentanyl in his system.

Edgewater PD presented the case to First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King on Sept. 19, the department said. In the following months, "additional items of evidence were collected and submitted for forensic testing." Those results were obtained on Dec. 6.

Smith was arrested at his Denver home on Dec. 12 for second-degree murder and manslaughter. He is being held on a $300,000 bond.

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A Jefferson County judge postponed Thursday’s scheduled preliminary hearing until the end of February to give Smith's defense team more time to review the evidence.

“If we get a conviction, after he gets out, he gets to go home with his family, with his mom,” Fresquez Mendez said. “We’ll never see Adam again.”

Smith's defense team claims the shooting was in self-defense following the road race incident. The Fresquez family and advocacy groups like the Denver Justice Project adamantly dispute that.

“We’ve been supporting the family navigating this process,” said Casey Childers with the Denver Justice Project.

“Adam was pepper sprayed — bear sprayed, whatever it is — shot twice in the back and left to die,” said Fresquez Mendez. “That’s why I’m so confused as to how this could be a self-defense case.”

Fresquez was armed at the time but did not fire a shot, according to Smith's arrest affidavit. First responders from the West Metro Fire Protection District (WMFD) found a handgun inside his clothes, the affidavit states.

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The Fresquez family is calling for an outside investigation of the Edgewater Police Department for its handling of the investigation.

“There needs to be some accountability for what the Edgewater Police Department has done,” Fresquez Mendez said. “We knew it was wrong what they were telling us, what Edgewater police were telling us. And all we knew how to do was to protest.”

Smith is due back in court on Feb. 28 for a formal preliminary hearing.

Mother of man killed at Tesla charging station speaks out after suspect's court appearance

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