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Jury finds Denver man guilty in 2021 case of murdered 19-year-old

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Posted at 10:44 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 12:48:56-04

DENVER — A Denver jury found a man guilty of murder after a 19-year-old was found with multiple gunshot wounds in a car in January 2021.

Edwin Josue Marentes, now 24 years old, was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder.

The charges stem from Jan. 17, 2021, when officers with the Denver Police Department found 19-year-old Imanol Del Valle injured in the driver's seat of a Honda Accord at Ellsworth Avenue and Newton Street. He had gunshot wounds to the back of his head, his chest and his right arm, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office. The car, which had crashed into a parked vehicle, also had bullet holes.

Del Valle was transported to the hospital in critical condition, according to the arrest warrant for Marentes.

Del Valle was pronounced deceased at 7:45 p.m. that evening.

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Investigators at the scene found nine fired cartridges — six 9mm and three .45, indicating two firearms were used — and a black cell phone in the street close to the car crash, according to the warrant.

Bloodstains inside the car indicated Del Valle had been in the vehicle at the time he was shot, according to the arrest warrant.

Crime scene investigators identified finger prints from the exterior of the driver's door, which matched prints for Marentes.

Marentes was arrested on Jan. 24, 2021 by the Denver Police Department on a charge of possession of a weapon by a previous offender. He was found in possession of a firearm that matched the 9mm cartridges found at the murder scene, according to the arrest warrant.

The jury ultimately found that Del Valle was killed in the course of an attempted robbery.

After deliberating for about four hours, a Denver jury on Tuesday found Marentes guilty of first-degree murder and second-degree murder in the Del Valle case, according to the district attorney's office.

Marentes has a sentencing hearing scheduled for Jan. 6.