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Guilty verdict in La Junta homicide from 2021

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This week, an Otero County jury convicted a Garden City, Kansas, man of First-Degree Murder in the death of a La Junta resident in May of last year.

Matthew Perez, 39, was found guilty of First-Degree Murder Tuesday in the death of Ernesto Apodaca. His sentencing is set for today. He faces life in prison.

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 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 Kansas Sheriff’s Office, Garden City Kansas Police Department, Otero County Coroner's Office and the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.