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Two charged in Cole Co. murder investigation

Two charged in Cole Co. murder investigation

December 21st, 2011 in News

Two men from California, Mo., have been charged in connection with Sunday night's murder of Francisco Navarro, 26, at an Apache Flats mobile home park.

Court documents identify the two as Jose Luis Hurtado, 22, and Rafael Fuentes, 23.

Wednesday afternoon, Cole County Sheriff Greg White said the two suspects still were being sought by authorities.

Hurtado is charged with one count of second-degree murder.

Fuentes is charged with second-degree murder and hindering the prosecution of a felony, by driving Hurtado "away from the scene of a homicide to a location where he could not be apprehended."

Their bonds have been set at $500,000 each.

Probable cause statements from the sheriff's department show the incident occurred around 9:35 p.m., at 5101 W. Business 50.

The statements repeat White's previous report, that Navarro had gotten out of a truck to help its driver, Jesus Hernandez, who was being assaulted by the driver in the suspect vehicle - identified in the statements as Fuentes.

The dispute apparently involved a complaint on how loud the muffler was on Hernandez' truck, and how he had been driving his vehicle.

The statements said Hurtado shot Navarro once in the chest, with a 9 mm pistol, when Navarro went to assist Hernandez in the fight with Fuentes.

Fuentes then drove away with Hurtado.

Court documents also show Fuentes currently is on probation for a 2009 unlawful use of a weapon conviction in Moniteau County.

Charged with shooting a gun into a police officer's house, Judge Kenneth M. Hayden sentenced him to 15 years in prison, then suspended the execution of that sentence and ordered a five-year, supervised probation.

White credited further information from witnesses at the crime scene from helping identify these suspects.

He said both should be considered armed and dangerous and they have alerted surrounding states to be on the lookout for Fuentes and Hurtado, as well as the states that border Mexico.

At this time, White said, they don't believe the victim knew the suspects in this case.

Anyone who might have information that could help authorities find the suspects can call the sheriff's office at 634-9160 or the Crimestoppers Hotline at 659-TIPS.

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