Attorney General Announces Arrest, Prosecution Of Mexican National In 1989 Palisade Murder

DENVER — Attorney General John Suthers announced today that the work of his office’s Foreign Prosecutions Unit has resulted in the arrest of Rafael Garcia Aguilar (DOB: 9/19/1949) in the July 4, 1989 murder of Charles “Chuck” Porter in Palisade.

“This is exactly the type of case that our office has worked with the Mexican authorities to solve and prosecute,” Suthers said. “Through our partnership with the Mexican and Mesa County authorities, we were able to file charges in this decades-old cold case. We look forward to the Mexican authorities bringing justice to the victims of this crime.”

According to documents filed with the Mexican courts, Aguilar is suspected of shooting Porter in the head following an argument. Shortly before the murder, Aguilar barged into his ex-wife’s home near Palisade and discovered her there with Porter. After the two exchanged words, Aguilar retrieved a shotgun from his car and shot Porter through the door of his ex-wife’s home. Aguilar, according to the court filings, then retrieved his ex-wife and two daughters from elsewhere in the house and forced them to look at Porter’s body. Aguilar then fled to his native Mexico, where he has lived for nearly two decades.

The Office of the Attorney General and the Mexican Attorney General, the Procuraduría General de la República, began probing this cold case after the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office asked the Colorado Attorney General’s Foreign Prosecutions Unit to review the case.

Foreign Prosecutions Unit Coordinator LuzMaria Shearer filed for an Article IV prosecution in February 2008. Article IV of the Mexican Penal Code allows for non-Mexican law enforcement agencies to request that Mexican authorities prosecute Mexican nationals who commit crimes in other countries but flee to Mexico.

Following extensive interviews with witnesses and Mexican nationals, via the Mexican consulate in Salt Lake City and the Procuraduría General de la República’s regional offices, Mexican authorities were able to locate Aguilar and arrest him on April 30 in Colima, Mexico.

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