Nine charges filed against suspect in the El Jebel murder case
Nine formal charges were filed Thursday against a midvalley man accused of murdering his aunt and uncle July 12.
The 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed two counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree, four counts of crime of violence and one count of tampering with physical evidence against Williams Anderson Amaya. The four counts of crime of violence are sentence enhancers tied to the murder and attempted-murder charges.
Amaya, 33, is being held without bond in Eagle County Jail. He is accused of shooting to death Eliseo and Mayra Lopez in their home in the Sopris Village subdivision in the El Jebel area.
The attempted-murder charges were filed because authorities allege Amaya intended to kill the Lopezes’ two boys, ages 13 and 14.
“There were bullet holes in the (bedding) of the two sons, so it is alleged that, had the boys not escaped, they would have been targeted as additional murder victims,” said a statement from the District Attorney’s Office released through public information officer Jill Sarmo.
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District Attorney Bruce Brown said during Amaya’s first court appearance July 14 that evidence indicated Amaya allegedly intended to kill others in the house where the shooting took place.
“Other occupants appeared to be targeted during this event,” Brown said outside the courtroom. “It appears that similar means used against the victims were contemplated to be used against others. Some of the forensic evidence indicated that.”
Amaya rented a room in the Lopez house, as did his brother Herbert and his family.
The Lopezes’ two sons were home at the time the shooting erupted shortly after 11 p.m. on a Saturday. An affidavit filed by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office investigators for an arrest warrant for Amaya said he was arguing with Mayra Lopez about the family dog right before the shooting started.
One of the Lopez boys and Herbert Amaya and his wife and child fled the house when the gunfire started, the affidavit said. It is unclear from the information that has been made public if the second boy hid in the house or fled.
Autopsies indicated Eliseo and Mayra were shot four times each.
Nothing in the arrest affidavit indicates how Amaya allegedly tampered with physical evidence in the case, and no additional information was available Thursday.
Amaya will be advised of the charges in a hearing Monday.
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A Mesa County man who attempted to assert the bogus “sovereign citizen” defense to cover for squatting in a Mountain Valley home in 2019 disavowed the doctrine Tuesday and was sentenced to prison.