Thursday, October 13, 2016

Arrest made in 1989 murder case

Rafael Aguialar Garcia, 67
Photo MCSO
MESA COUNTY, Colo - A suspected wanted in a 1989 murder in Mesa County was taken into custody Monday in Denver.

Rafael Aguialar Garcia, 67, was arrested by Denver Police Officers Monday on a charge of Murder in the First Degree.

Charles Porter was shot and killed July 4, 1989 on the 3600 block of F Road in Palisade.  A witness at the time identified Garcia as the shooter.

In 2009, the case was handed over to Mexican Authorities where Garcia was tried.

Officers with the Denver Police Department made contact with Garcia and arrested him on the Mesa County warrant still outstanding related to the case.

Garcia was transported to the Mesa County Detention Facility where he is currently being held without bond.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is now working with the Mesa County District Attorney's Office on how to proceed with his case.

District Attorney Dan Rubinstein was notified of Garcia's arrest on October 12.

"I am told of a prior unsuccessful prosecution that occurred in Mexico for the same murder, but have not personally reviewed any documents or fully gathered the information about what occurred with that effort," said Rubinstein.

Under Article 4 of the Mexican Federal Penal Code, the Mexican authorities may prosecute crimes that occurred in other countries under circumstances where (1) the accused is in Mexico; (2) the accused has not been tried in the country where he committed the crime, and; (3) the crime is one that is also a crime in Mexico.

"The information I have now received is that Mexico had previously refused to extradite Mr. Garcia because he was a Mexican citizen, but that Mexican authorities prosecuted him for the murder in Mesa County with the cooperation of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office," said Rubinstein. "While it is my belief, based on the limited information I have at this time, that the law does not prohibit my office from prosecuting Mr. Garcia for the murder on U.S. Soil. However, because I did not participate in the decision to cooperate with the Mexican authorities in their efforts and have not received the documentation on it, I do not know if some other agreement that we would not prosecute was made in that respect by another local official."

"Given the nature of the offense, the Twenty First Judicial District Attorney’s Office intends to pursue every legal avenue to prosecute Mr. Garcia here in Mesa County." said Rubinstein.

For updated bond amounts on any inmate currently in our jail, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.

To view the arrest warrant click here.