Arrests made in Cortez slayings

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) -- Charges have been filed in two separate murder cases in the southwestern Colorado town of Cortez.

Police Chief Roy Lane tells The Cortez Journal ( that officials with the Bureau of Indian Affairs arrested 19-year-old Jeroen Begay, of Cortez, in Arizona on Friday. Begay was wanted after a Sept. 15 shooting that left one woman dead and a teenager injured.

Authorities have seized a shotgun they believe was used to kill 21-year-old Natalie Hatch and injure 18-year-old Quincy Yellow, both of Towaoc. Begay faces murder and attempted murder charges.

In an unrelated case, police arrested 38-year-old Valerie Espinoza, of Cortez, late Thursday in connection to a stabbing death earlier that morning. Espinoza was charged with murder after authorities say she stabbed 62-year-old Charles Chavez to death with a kitchen knife.

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