The 10th Judicial Court in Pueblo found probable cause Friday in the shooting death of 47-year old Robert Marquez.
Jesus Arturo Benavidez, 21, faces second-degree murder charges in a trial set to begin in April.
Benavidez was arrested in mid-August after Roque Marquez, 47, was pronounced dead at a local hospital after being shot in the area of East 29th Street and Interstate 25.
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An autopsy conducted on July 20 indicated that the cause of death was a gunshot wound, which went through Marquez's forearm before piercing his right side, hitting a lung, kidney, and spine.
Dashcam footage from a nearby vehicle at the time of the shooting showed Marquez approach a brownish-gold Lexus "like he was trying to hop a ride" before backing up a few steps and falling after gunshots were fired from the 1992 Lexus, according to Pueblo Police Detective Glen Fillmore.
Fillmore stated there were no signs of a violent altercation leading up to the shooting, according to eyewitness reports.
The vehicle then left the scene, passing RNR tires on West 29th Street. Surveillance video obtained from the tire shop and nearby target showed a more detailed picture of the vehicle, including damage to the fender of the vehicle along with different hubcaps on the driver's side of the vehicle, Fillmore testified. Surveillance footage also showed the vehicle had a sunroof.
Fillmore indicated that a vehicle matching that description was later found abandoned, with a 9mm shell casing inside, along with a receipt from 7-Eleven belonging to Angelito Iola, who indicated that he was with Jesus and Alejandro Benavidez, but was not in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, which was confirmed by investigators.
Benavidez's attorney Beau Worthington cast doubt that the vehicle identified as the one involved in the shooting was the correct vehicle, as a second Lexus had also been searched the night after the shooting.
However, Fillmore asserted that the second Lexus didn't really match the description provided.
"Some young patrolman thought it vaguely matched the description and we were called out," he said.
Facebook tips resulting from a description of the vehicle being posted on the Pueblo Police Department page indicated that someone named Jesus, who also went by "Chapo" drove a car matching the description and allegedly bragged about being involved in the shooting.
The tipster reportedly said they did not know the last name of the named individual.
Information obtained from a Facebook account belonging to Benavidez showed conversations with his niece, in which Benavidez allegedly admitted that he had shot Marquez because Marquez was "coming for his brother."
Benavidez allegedly told his niece that he had "already gotten rid of" the vehicle, and that "police had already found it."
Benavidez's mother allegedly told police that Benavidez had come home upset the day of the shooting.
Benavidez was located at the Pueblo Reservoir Swim Beach at about 5 p.m. on Aug. 13 and was placed into custody by detectives.
Benavidez remains in the Pueblo County Jail on a $500,000 bond while awaiting trial, which is set to begin on April 11.
Worthington said there is a solid argument to be made for self-defense, based on a report from an eyewitness in a truck that was behind the Lexus when gunshots were fired, stating that the victim had run-up to the car and may have attempted to enter the vehicle.
Autopsy reports also indicate the victim had 156 milliliters of Ethanol in his system, according to Worthington, which made Marquez legally intoxicated at the time of his death.
"I don't necessarily concede that Mr. Benavidez is responsible for the crime, but I think there is an argument for self-defense to be made," said Worthington.
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court. Arrests and charges are merely accusations by law enforcement until, and unless, a suspect is convicted of a crime.
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This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo man will face trial for July shooting