A Colorado Springs man who prosecutors say assumed the name of a James Bond villain will go before a jury early next year on allegations of beating his father to death with a baseball bat in a plot hatched with his 78-year-old mother.
Jean-Joseph Danger Le Chiffre, formerly known as Patrick Joseph Sandoval, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to first-degree murder, among other charges.
Le Chiffre, 56, had previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him this summer, but saw his trial delayed when new attorneys took over his defense. That happened after a hearing in May, when police testified against him in the case.
On Wednesday, his trial was scheduled to go before a jury on Feb. 7.
In May, police accused Le Chiffre of hatching a plot with his mother, Marcella Sandoval, to kill his father Gilbert, who at the time was 83. The purpose of that conspiracy, police alleged, was for the two to share the money they would inherit after Gilbert’s death. Months before, Le Chiffre had been cut out of his father’s will, police said.
Sometime before Gilbert was killed, police said Le Chiffre legally changed his name to the James Bond villain from “Casino Royale.”
When investigators first interviewed her, Marcella went along with the story, but later flipped, pleading guilty to being an accessory to murder and becoming a witness in the case. She was sentenced in early March to two years of probation.
Marcella told investigators she lured Gilbert to a home the two owned while her son lay in wait in the basement.
The plan, police alleged, was for Le Chiffre to ambush Gilbert, and for Marcella to claim she’d killed him in self-defense when police arrived.
That plan fell apart when she became a witness in the case in the days after the killing, but investigators also pointed to the fact that the duo’s story had obvious flaws, like the fact that Marcella, who needed help from police to walk around her house without falling, couldn’t have swung the bat that killed her husband.
At the end of the hearing in May, Judge Chad Miller ordered that Le Chiffre be held without bond for his trial, adding that evidence against him is likely strong enough to convict him.