Guilty Verdict in La Junta Homicide from 2021

The following is a news release from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation



September 6, 2022 - Otero County, CO –On September 6, 2022, an Otero County jury convicted a Garden City, Kansas man of First Degree Murder in the homicide of a La Junta resident in May of last year.


Matthew Perez (DOB: 10/07/1982) Garden City, Kansas, was found guilty of First Degree Murder on Monday. His sentencing is set for September 7, 2022. Perez faces life in prison.


Perez was convicted in the homicide of Ernesto Apodaca (DOB: 05/20/1972). Apodaca was shot inside of his vehicle parked in front of his apartment building located in the 600 block of Sunrise Avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood in La Junta on May 14, 2021.

The investigation was conducted by the La Junta Police Department in cooperation with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Otero County Sheriff's Office, Colorado State Patrol, Finney County Sheriff’s Office (Kansas), Garden City Police Department (Kansas), Otero County Coroner's Office and the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The investigating agencies would like to extend their appreciation and support of the community throughout the course of the comprehensive investigation, including tips provided to investigators working the case.

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