Miguel Angel Licona-Ortega is behind bars for murdering 23-year-old Javier Chacon-Ortega outside a sports bar in Aurora, Colorado.
On July 29, 2017, deputies with the Aurora Police Department were dispatched to the Tierra Maya Sports Bar and Grill on 455 Havana Street following a call about a 7 p.m. shooting, according to the Denver Post.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found Chacon-Ortega covered in blood. He was lying in front of the door, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
Emergency medical responders transported Chacon-Ortega to the University Hospital in Aurora, where he was pronounced dead.
Police learned through an investigation that Chacon-Ortega and Licona-Ortega, a then-24-year-old illegal immigrant from Honduras, got into an argument inside the bar.
Licona-Ortega challenged him to a fight outside, and Chacon-Ortega agreed to fight.
As they were walking outside, Licona-Ortega shot Chacon-Ortega in the back of the head with a .38 revolver, and he continued shooting him as he lay injured on the ground, which was captured on a surveillance camera.
Licona-Ortega fled the scene in a vehicle that he had arranged to pick him up before the shooting occurred. CBS Denver reported that he was arrested the following day after police learned he was dealing heroin near Tierra Maya Sports Bar and Grill.
He was booked into the county jail on charges of first-degree murder.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation records showed that Licona-Ortega had been arrested a month prior. He was charged with two counts of felony assault in a separate incident.
On Nov. 14, 2018, an Arapahoe County jury found Licona-Ortega guilty of murdering Chacon-Ortega.
Following a four-day trial, a judge sentenced Licona-Ortega to life in prison.
District Attorney George Brauchler said, “A cowardly, cold-blooded murderer such as this deserves no freedom ever again. As taxpayers, we have decided to fund prisons to protect us from such murderers.”
“This is a taxpayer bill for a lifetime of incarceration of a murderer who is in our country illegally. Our criminal justice system does a poor job of tracking how much crime is — or is not—attributable to those who are here illegally. This murder is in part another product of our failed immigration system. Coloradans deserve better.”
“While the vast majority of those here illegally would never commit such wanton acts, we must secure our border from violent criminals.”
Chief Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Gleason said, “This was the coldest, most calculated murderer I have ever prosecuted.”