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Cole County murder suspects caught

Cole County murder suspects caught

December 23rd, 2011 in News

The two men wanted in connection with the shooting death of a man in an Apache Flats mobile home park on Sunday night are now in custody.

Cole County Sheriff Greg White told news media that around 6:15 a.m. Friday morning, Jose Luis Hurtado and Rafael Fuentes were picked up on Ellis Boulevard, after getting in contact with authorities.

The two are facing second-degree murder charges in the killing of Francisco Navarro.

According to White, a local lawyer had contacted a member of the Cole County Prosecutor's Office, Thursday, about the two turning themselves in.

A detective from White's department then got in contact with a family representative of the two and set up Friday morning's meeting.

White credited the family members of Hurtado and Fuentes in convincing the two to "do the honorable thing."

Thursday evening authorities recovered Fuentes' 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora, in California, Missouri, which is believed to have been used as the get-away vehicle in this case.

White said that vehicle is being processed in the basement of the new county jail for evidence.

White also said they learned that Hurtado and Fuentes had left the state and returned before they turned themselves in.

Details of the case remain sketchy and White said hopefully they can be more forthcoming as the two suspects go through the legal process.

He did say he was not convinced that there was any more motive for the shooting other than what has already been released.

Probable cause statements from the sheriff's department show the incident occurred around 9:35 p.m. Sunday night 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.

Hurtado and Fuentes are being held on $500,000 bonds, each.