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Suspect arrested in connection with 2021 homicide of ranch hand in El Paso County

Donaciano Amaya worked for Courtney "CW" and Nicole Mallery, who say they are the victims of blatant racism amid a conflict with their neighbor
El Paso County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 4:29 PM, Mar 10, 2023

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in the homicide of a man who worked as a ranch hand in the county.

The sheriff's office said the man, 43-year-old Donaciano Amaya, worked with Courtney "CW" and Nicole Mallery, a Black couple that owns a 640-acre ranch in a rural part of the county. They said after buying Freedom Acres Ranch in 2020, they have become the victims of blatant racism.

A road easement located in between the Mallerys' property and their neighbor has been the source of conflict between the two parties for more than a year. The sheriff’s office has denied the Mallerys' claims of racial discrimination. Click here to read more about this case.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office releases new bodycam video in Black ranchers cases

On Friday afternoon, the sheriff's office announced it had arrested Kevin Armondo Chaparro-Macias on Wednesday in connection with Amaya's death.

Amaya's body was found shortly after 6 p.m. on May 12, 2021. Deputies had been dispatched to the 6000 block of S. Johnson Road in Rush for a welfare check. When they arrived, they found a deceased man on the property, who was later identified as Amaya.

During the subsequent investigation, multiple persons of interest were identified and DNA was submitted for testing. By April 2022, initial lab results excluded those individuals, but identified an unknown male.

In Oct. 10, 2022, a Combined DNA Index System — also known as CODIS — issued a notification to the sheriff's office about a tentative hit on the DNA. It indicated that the DNA may belong to a 26-year-old man named Kevin Armondo Chaparro-Macias.

In February 2023, the sheriff's office received a lab report for a DNA sample that had been collected from Chaparro-Macias.

"Those results strongly implicated Chaparro-Macias as contributing to the unknown male DNA collected from the initial homicide scene," the sheriff's office said in a press release.

On Wednesday, multiple agencies worked in partnership to arrest Chaparro-Macias.

He was booked into the El Paso County Jail, where he is being held without bail, and faces a first-degree murder charge.

The motive is unknown and no other details were immediately available on the arrest.

While Amaya had been working for the Mallery family when he was killed, the sheriff's office confirmed his body was found several miles from their ranch.

On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office released 96 videos, totaling 38 hours, of interactions between law enforcement and those involved in cases pertaining to the Mallerys.

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